PiET Research Lab, York University – Do-It-Yourself Assistive Technology (DIY-AT)

We are a research lab working on Do-It-Yourself Assistive Technology (DIY-AT). Our vision is to have a thriving ecosystem whereby useful and needed pieces of AT are made and are used at the community level. This is a useful complement to commercially-available AT. DIY-AT is intended to benefit individuals with disabilities, but much of the work in this area still marginalize those individuals, since the making itself is often not accessible. Our vision is to make the making process accessible, so that a much more diverse group of makers, including those with disabilities, can participate in the design and the fabrication of AT. Our work is funded by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). We will showcase two types of DIY-ATs, a speech generating device and a device to help support Braille learning. Come and see how you might become involved in DIY-AT!

Hands-on activity at the Festival:
We will have working versions of two types of DIY-ATs, a speech generating device and a device to help support Braille learning. We will have a few versions available in a partially assembled state, so that attendees can assemble and dissemble the units and handle their components (RPi, refreshable Braille display, touch sensors hacked out of aluminum tape, 3D printed and laser-cut housings, speakers).