Ideas that came to me while working with students of different abilities and coordination. We have a moderate and severe physical and mental disability program at one of my schools and in talking with the teacher some of the kids had always wanted to try video games but the picture or controls were never able to be adapted for these elementary students. We tried the controls to Makey Makey and while not always successful for games allowed for a better interface for many of these students.
- Makey-Makey set
- 4-6 aluminum boxes
- 4-6 Pie tins
- Aluminum foil
- Foam Packing
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Step 1: Step 1: Switches
A lot of the Makey Makey Community are familiar with switches.
They can easily be made bigger to accommodate people stepping on them, or even using a wheelchair to trigger them. If games can be chosen wisely that timing isn't as big of a deal then students with movement challenges can also play or be part of a team if they are in control of even just one switch.
They are made with aluminum tape or foil inside of cardboard with a separation material like the foam and then held together with rubber bands.
Step 2: Step 2: Larger Buttons
Switches were hard for many of my students to use so I thought about surface area. With GenEd students I had used headphone adapters and washers to make bigger buttons, but I wanted these to allow for more force and forgive accuracy as motor control can also be an issue. I had both permanent and disposable pie tins at home, so we tried this as a button first. There was some success but the disposable tins were predictably flimsy and not sturdy enough. But permanent pie tins are hard to come by and somewhat expensive.
I also had two sets of three nestled aluminum boxes that I originally had made breakout boxes from. These turned out to be perfect. They were large enough to be seen well, conductive, and very sturdy. They were relatively inexpensive as I had found them on sale at Harbor Freight for $3 a set.
I know this wasn't earth shattering, but it was able to bring students to the coding and making table that I hadn't been able to reach before. It was also surprisingly effective for the students and made a big difference in how some of them felt about belonging with their peers.