In this Instructable we will be looking at how to use an innovative device called the MaKey MaKey
to create customized, low-cost, DIY computer access interfaces for users with disabilities.
A computer access interface
is anything you use to interact with your computer. Normally this is simply a keyboard or a mouse, but for some individuals these devices are impractical or difficult (perhaps even impossible) to use.
Many commercial options exist that let people use their computer in various ways, but the vast majority of them are extremely expensive, hard to use and rely on relatively outdated technology and design principles.
In this Instructable, I will show you how to make your own simple, transparent interfaces out of common objects like aluminum foil and cardboard and an awesome $50 piece of technology!
This Instructable is meant for friends, family members and caretakers of individuals with some form of physical disability. While the techniques and technology introduced in this Instructable may be used to help individuals with cognitive disabilities, I have not had any personal experience with such cases.
Please rely on your personal intuition and experience with the user and, if possible, consult with a competent and compassionate expert before actually implementing technology with a user..
I welcome any experiences or advice you may be able to share about using the MaKey MaKey to construct interfaces for individuals with cognitive or physical disabilities. Please feel free to comment on this Instructable, and let me know whether the information I've presented could be helpful for such cases.
This Instructable is intended to help individuals become more comfortable with using technology to meet their own needs through hands-on learning, experimentation and making. It is no way intended to replace or improve upon commercially available technology.
Furthermore, while this Instructable advocates for the role of DIY technology as a means of empowering users in need, the help and guidance of a trained assistive technology professional is still very valuable. If you are able to, enlist the help of an assistive technology professional who is familiar with your user and supportive of your interest in DIY technology.