Friday, January 23, 2015

Homemade Assistive Technology: Easy projects to DIY and save money!

I love being able to make items for my students to use, especially if it means it's of little or no cost to the school, the student or myself. Adapting everyday items into assistive technology is easy once you know what you are looking for. The Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center's website has a whole page dedicated to homemade assistive technology with materials and specific directions for making each item. Below are a few of my favorite from this site.

1. PVC Bookstand - using about 17 pieces of small PVC, you can create a bookstand that is light and portable. Better yet: use it as an iPad stand! The wide base of support is great to prevent tipping. Add some non-skid material and the iPad will stay put in the stand as well.

2. Party ring mouse - attach a party ring to the left click button on a mouse and help children learn where to place their fingers correctly, or keep fingers in the area (for those with motor control issues). This is huge for state testing here, as it is all on the computer and many kids aren't too familiar with physical mice anymore!

3. Reading helpers - using colored transparent folders and a boundary, help kids with visual issues attend to where they are reading.

4. Pencil with built up holder - you can build a pencil up with so many different materials. The Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center recommends using a pool noodle! Think of how many pancil holders can be made out of a $1 pool noodle (or built up utensils, crayons, musical sticks, the options are endless)!

5. Card holder - for kids who have a hard time with hand control, create a card holder so they can play games, like UNO, with their friends.

Check out the materials and instructions for the assistive technology above, in addition to 13 other ides by visiting Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center's website here.


Shelly didn't realize pop tubes were the coolest thing EVER (according to preschoolers), until this week!

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