The Maker Lab is hosting a maker fair to teach students about assistive touch and augmentative and alternative communication.
Assistive technology (AT) and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) hold the purpose of assisting people incapable or struggling to do certain things. AT is any item or device that supports and gives independence to a person with a disability while AAC includes all forms of communication, aside from oral speech, that are used to express thoughts and ideas.
“I taught a summer course in AAC where we made several items related to assistive technology and augmentative and alternative communication,” said Lory Chrane, instructor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and maker fair organizer. “We also wanted to spread the word about the AT and AAC needs in our community.”
The event will be free and will be a “come-and-go” event. In addition, the Maker Lab will have a hands-on demonstration and activity for anyone in attendance followed by an introduction to the basics of circuit-making, switching, and making their own LED light project.
“From the Maker Lab’s perspective, we want people to know what tools and materials are available to them,” said Darren Wilson, Maker Lab coordinator. “More importantly we want people to understand that we’re a resource for students and faculty who may have an idea and need assistance to build it out or who are trying to solve a problem and are looking for innovative and creative approaches to the solution.”
The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association group on campus has adopted AT and AAC and plans to partner with Region 14 Education Service Center and the Maker Lab to make these items for children or adults in need within the local community.
“These students have found unique and innovative answers that will greatly impact the lives of those whom they are serving. The experiential learning will benefit those students in profound ways,” said Wilson.
The maker fair will take place in the Brown Library atrium in front of the Maker Lab on September 27 from 9 a.m.-11 a.m.