Makey Makey as Occupational Therapy and Assistive Technology: A Partnership Project with Makers Making Change

February 09, 2021

Makers Making Change Show and Tell

For the last four months, we've had a partnership with Makers Making Change as a way to help disability professionals use Makey Makey as an assistive device. In October, 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!

 In today's post, we are happy to share some of their inventions! 

Presentation Slides 

Project Highlights

Tracy Zhang's Braille Calculator

Tracy wants to thank Evie, who inspired her to make something to help Evie learn math. Evie is a beautiful and blinded girl with gifted in music. Here is a video of her singing

The Ann Arbor team from Makers Making Change is helping to make the calculator case. 

This amazing project is now also as a how to guide thanks to Tracy and the Makers Making Change group! 


Tracy's documentation to build your own

Jordana Bengall's SEL Project

Jordana's "Cup Overflowing" Project is designed for individuals that have difficulties regulating their emotions. Here more about the project idea here. 

The design is to show that a client how their cup can overflow, they can try different techniques to calm down or change their emotions. They will move the water from one cup to another to visually show how they can deal with difficult emotions.  

Valerie's Project Core Interactive Shapes

Valerie 3d printed the Project Core 3D Tactile Symbol set. These symbols are designed for students with visual impairments and complex communication needs. These symbols each have a specific shape related to a part of speech. The student touches the shape to find the word they want to use and they can hand the shape to a communication partner to "say" the word. Valerie's goal was to take the shapes and using Makey Makey turn them into a voice output communication device.

See more about Valerie's project.



Download and print your own 3d Tactile Symbol set.

Lori Lambert

Lori's challenge was to create a low pressure switch that is high contrast for her low vision student.

This simple yet effective play-doh switch helps her student start and stop videos that Lori has uploaded to Tar Heel Game Play.

David's Team 

David and his students wanted to create an engaging activity that allows clients to practice pronation and supination of the hand and wrist. They also wanted the device they created to be able to use changeable parts for different activities.


Ynez Speak and Spell Device

Ynez challenged herself to create a "make a word" game for children with contractures. She remapped Makey Makey to specific letters and used paperclips as the conductive touch points. There is no coding involved, and kids can type right into Microsoft Word with Immersive Reader activated. She even sewed a conductive pillow for students to hold! Check out the completely adaptable learning center she created below:

Want to learn more?

We love the amazing effort put worth by these hardworking individuals! And we are excited to sponsor more webinars for occupational therapists. 

Want to know about our next join adventure with Makers Making Change? Sign up here !

Watch the full "Show and Tell" Video with Makers Making Change and Workshop Participants


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