Assistive Technology, Occupational Therapy, and More Accessibility Resources

December 01, 2021
We've seen a lot of great Makey Makey work centered around the topic of accessibility and assistive technology devices. More and more occupational therapists are starting to gamify their work. Schools are also seeing the importance of combining empathy alongside invention literacy.

    Resources for Assistive Technology and Accessibility

    We wanted to share some resources on creating assistive technology that we find helpful if you are interested in this topic too!

    Great places to start

    • Watch this video from our very own Tom Heck's TED talk about students using design thinking and empathy to create assistive controllers for classmates.


    • Katie Butzu and Mark Lyons are some amazing educators working on creating workshops for other OTs and teaching them how to use Makey Makey to help with occupational therapy. Check out these resources:   


    • Therapy Ball Controller : Large based therapy ball controller allows user to access and control computer using keystrokes. The user is able to control the ball switch with or without physical assistance dependent on their individual needs.  

    • Musical Paintbrushes: The ‘Musical Paint Brushes’ offer a variety of therapeutic benefits to include: improving fine motor coordination, improve grasp, improve visual motor coordination, improve cause/effect understanding and improve social play.


    • You can join our Facebook Educator group and chat with others intrigued by the same ideas!
    • Makers Making Change connects makers to people with disabilities who need assistive technologies. They offer a platform for makers to volunteer their time to make an access solution from our projects library. (Check out this video from Makeathon where Rashmi and team use Makey Makey to prototype an assistive tech Wiimote!)

    • Ramsey Musallam is an inspired educator in California who created a two week special course for his students. CLICK HERE for details.
    • Jason Web's Instructable for Making a DIY Assistive Device (It is an oldie but a goodie, so excuse the few broken pathways.)
    • Lucia Rannuci is a preservice teacher in Italy and she shared this amazing project on our Facebook educators group! Check out the way she is teaching students about the solar system using Makey Makey and Scratch!

      • Matt Richards is also working on making a more permanent controller for this student!



      • We've also found a few interesting articles you might want to read:
        • Makey Makey as an Assistive Resource- This is a jam packed Educator article with thorough research! It's an amazing place to get ideas and show your administrators why you should use Makey Makey in this way!
        • DIY Assistive Game Controllers- This article by Matthew Farber posts a quite a few assistive technology design challenges you can implement with your students today!
        • Read this article in Make for more information on Tom's Design Challenge with students.

      Makers Making Change

      In 2020 we partnered with Makers Making Change as a way to help disability professionals use Makey Makey as an assistive device. In October 2020, we ran an intro webinar with Katie Butzu and Mark Lyons as a way to promote entry to the live workshop. Katie and Mark shared amazing ideas in their November workshop, and then the disability professionals were challenged with creating their own assistive technology! The participants made some amazing assistive technology! Check out the full post here

      Braille Calculator

      This is one of the most epic inventions we've seen created with Makey Makey by Tracey Zhang. 

      Pronation and Supination 

      David's team made this epic interachangble invention.

      Check out Electrify Assistive Technology Webinar!

      Last but not least, we went into depth on ideas for assistive devices in our most recent webinar with Makey Makey Ambassador Trisha Roffey!

       Electrify Assistive Technology with Trisha Roffey March 26th, 3 pm CST

      Trish Roffey is an Emerging Technologies Consultant working in Edmonton, Alberta CANADA. Trish says "My Grade 8 students and I decided to take on building an educational program and switch based on the learning needs of specific students. We went to one of our local schools that needed some support and each student met their “client”. The outcome was one of the most powerful teaching experiences of my career!"

      View details on Trisha's project here:

      The webinar with Trisha was phenomenal! For those that missed the live broadcast, we wanted to share this resource with you! We learned so much and were so inspired. We can't wait to see more schools use design thinking to create assistive technology for students with real needs. 

      View the full webinar here:

      If you want to catch our next webinar, make sure you sign up for our newsletter! We'll keep you up to date on our next free professional development and you can participate from anywhere!

      Challenging Students to Create Assistive Technology Webinar

      This is another great webinar around Assistive Technology from March 2020. 

      In January 2020 , we noticed some impressive tweets about an assistive technology design challenge put forth to a senior high school math class. As we dug into the story, we learned that this great idea was spawn from a collaborative team of 6 teachers! As problem solving and collaboration are some of the hardest qualities to instill in students, we knew we needed to find out more about these epic teachers. Find out more about how they used this project to share empathy and design in their local high school. Watch the webinar below and find the Full post and resources here.

      Accessibility Guides

      We've got accessibility guides on our resource page! 

      More Webinars on Assistive Technology and Accessibility 

      For more in depth resources, check out these webinars addressing these important topics:

      Tips for Guiding Students through a Design Challenge

      Check out these tips from Project Invent on guiding students through a design challenge.



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