On January 31st 2020, I, Michael Dicpinigaitis, was honored to present a poster session about JerichoAdaptsToys.org at the national conference, ATIA 2020 in Orlando, Florida. ATIA stands for, Assistive Technology Industry Association. It is the largest assistive technology conference in the country. The conference was an incredible experience filled with teaching, learning, and so much more. I was able to meet with pioneers in the field of assistive technology and bring back ideas to further the organization and its impact.
The goal of the poster that I presented was to inform the audience of three main learning objectives. The first was to demonstrate one or more steps taken to adapt a toy including tips I learned from others. I used schematics (as seen below) to visually detail the process of adaptation. The second was to discuss the history and one or more goals of the free lending library, JerichoAdaptsToys.org. I spoke about the organization as a whole and explained the journey the team took since I created the organization. The third was to discuss one or more ways of how others can replicate a similar program in their communities. I gave advice to those seeking ways to implement similar types of programs in their communities and created some great connections for the future.
Thanks to everyone at ATIA that made the event as successful as it was. I hope to attend again next year!
In just a few weeks, I, Michael Dicpinigaitis of JerichoAdaptsToys.org, will be presenting a poster session at ATiA 2020. I am so excited and honored to attend this year's conference, let alone to be able to present at it and showcase our organization. This year's conference will feature hundreds of assistive technology professionals, hours of educational opportunities, and even an entire day and section dedicated to making and adapting (you can bet we'll be there!). We can't wait! Here are some links to the upcoming conference:
We are so excited to announce that JerichoAdaptsToys.org has been featured on a guest post on PrAACtical AAC. PrAACtical AAC is a website and blog platform that includes the "community of professionals and families who are determined to improve the communication and literacy abilities of people with significant communication difficulties." We are so grateful for Dr. Zangari for writing this post and helping spread the word and mission of JerichoAdaptsToys.org. Please visit PrAACtical AAC and read the article by clicking the link below:
This past Tuesday, the JerichoAdaptsToys team had the opportunity to host a toy and switch adapting session at the iHOPE Academy of New York City. Michael Dicpinigaitis, Corinne Dicpinigaitis, Eric Li, and Jai Joshi all presented to staff at the school for children with multiple disabilities on how to adapt a 3D printed switch and a remote controlled fire truck. The session was super successful, with well over 20 people working in groups that all learned a hands-on approach to adapting, soldering, and wiring. Everyone was able to take these toys and switches back to the classrooms following the presentation so that the finished products could be used in action right away. See some of the pictures of the session below, everyone had a blast!
Recently, the JerichoAdaptsToys team presented in front of the Jericho Engineering Club in preparation to begin working with the club in the upcoming months. There was a large turnout of interested and enthusiastic students. The objectives of our collaboration are to educate students on the population we service, teach students technical skills needed to adapt and 3D print, brainstorm additional solutions we can provide as a team, and discuss the importance of engineering and community outreach. We are planning to start by scheduling a few adapting sessions of 3D printed switches. Adapting toys will be next. Fundraising will also be an important part of this collaboration. We look forward to educating the club about the importance of engineering in the field of assistive technology and how individuals with disabilities can benefit from engineers and their work. As we expand into the engineering program, we hope to engage more Jericho engineers and general students with our work. We greatly look forward to our collaboration. Stay tuned!
This past week, Michael Dicpinigaitis from JerichoAdaptsToys.org presented at two major assistive technology conferences: the AT Summit in Mercer, NJ and the AT Makers' Day in Pittsburgh, PA. Michael presented about JerichoAdaptsToys and how others can create adapted toy lending library programs in their communities. Michael also performed a live toy and switch adaptation to demonstrate to others how to adapt a simple battery operated toy and 3D printed switch. Thanks to everyone who attended the presentations and for all the support for JerichoAdaptsToys.org! Here are the links to the conferences:
We are excited to announce our partnership with the Long Island TRAID Center, which provides access to assisitive technology for individuals. This partnership allows the toys we have adapted to be available for free loan to families and therapists across Long Island. Please visit their website for further information:
This past week, Michael from JerichoAdaptsToys.org was able to meet with administration at the iHOPE Academy of New York City. We are so excited to announce that we have established a partnership with iHOPE, which includes our free toy lending library and trainings on toy adaptation and 3D printing to staff and parents. Additionally, we are happy to announce our expansion of JerichoAdaptsToys.org into New York City, a goal that we have always had but were unsure if we could accomplish. As the summer wraps up, we are looking forward to continuing the JerichoAdaptsToys mission and working towards our next goals.
Recently, Michael Dicpinigaitis of Jericho Adapts Toys visited the Henry Viscardi School to volunteer with its Occupational Therapy department and shadow Mr. Chris Marotta, an Occupational Therapist greatly involved in the field. Mr. Marotta also wrote about JerichoAdaptsToys within the Henry Viscardi School newspaper, speaking about the lending library program. We are so thankful for the testimonial and are looking forward to continue working with the Henry Viscardi School in the coming months.
Recently, JerichoAdaptsToys.org was in the news! Writer Gary Simeone reached out to us and did an amazing job of writing an article for us that appeared in the Jericho-Syosset News Journal, The Jericho News Journal, and The Syosset Advance. We are thankful that Mr. Simeone wrote these articles to help us to continue to spread the mission of JerichoAdaptsToys.org. The articles can be read at:
This past week, on June 4th, Michael Dicpinigaitis of Jericho Adapts Toys visited the Carman Road school at Nassau BOCES. The school currently participates in the lending library program that Jericho Adapts Toys offers. At the School, Michael met with the teacher, Ms. Kathryn Crockett. Ms. Crockett's classroom is one of several in the school that borrows toys from our lending library program. Michael was able to interact with some of the students and observe how each student is unique in their method of switch access. It has been an amazing experience to visit one of the schools we work with and see in person the impact we are making as JerichoAdaptsToys.
Recently, Michael Dicpinigaitis of JerichoAdaptsToys was interviewed on Talking With Tech. The Podcast was recorded at ATiA conference and can be viewed at:
The interview with Michael begins at 32:30.
We recently started 3D printing switches. Although we did not design these switches, very generous designers on Thingiverse.com have shared plans for the general public. We print out these switches for use in our lending library and are also starting to donate some of our switches. Here are a few examples of some of our switches that we have printed so far:
This past January at ATiA (The Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference), I met Chris Marotta, an Occupational Therapist at the Henry Viscardi School. Chris is also a professor teaching graduate students about assistive technology solutions for individuals with complex bodies. He is one of the most passionate people I know and I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to shadow him this summer and learn more about adapting. Also, I am very excited to announce that JerichoAdaptsToys has partnered with the Henry Viscardi School to be involved in our lending library program.
We wanted to thank Mary Sagstetter and everyone at AbleNet for their generous donation of switches to JerichoAdaptsToys.org. We are so grateful for this donation and plan to use these high quality switches in our lending library program. If you would like more information about their products, please visit their website at ablenetinc.com
I (Michael) was very fortunate to be able to attend the last day of ATIA in Orlando, Florida today. My sister and I attended the exhibit hall and Maker Day and were able to explore cutting edge assistive technology solutions. We also made connections and had great conversations with people dedicated to the field. Students from all around Florida presented their current projects and how they are using robotics to change the field of AT. In addition, big companies such as Google and Microsoft attended to showcase their innovations in the field, all of which we saw and were greatly inspired by. It was an incredible experience and we learned things we never knew before. We hope to incorporate some of what we saw into our free lending library program right here at JerichoAdaptsToys.org
We are very excited at JerichoAdaptsToys.org because we recently got a 3D printer!
You may say - so, what does that mean?
It means we can make expensive solutions for assistive technology for a fraction of the cost. We want to bring those items to our partnering schools and programs for free through our lending program!
We are learning about the solutions out there. For starters we know we can make switches and switch mount brackets which can be used with inexpensive GoPro mounts and camera mounts. This is something very important for our project of adapting toys.
Many children who play with our toys cannot used their hands to press the switch. They can, however, press the switch with another body part they have control of such as their head or even the side of their knee. You cannot expect someone to hold the switch in the correct spot indefinitely. That's why switch mounts are perfect, especially flexible mounts.
There are inexpensive mounts out there for purchase but these mounts are for GoPro cameras and regular cameras. They aren't made to attach a switch. That's where our 3D printer comes in! There are awesome people out there who have designed a bracket that can attach a camera or GoPro mount to a commercially available switch. We have also found plans we plan to print on switches themselves! We are looking forward to exploring the options out there and having some fun with this incredibly cool gadget!
We thank ATMakers for their amazing ideas as well as various makers we are finding on the Thingiverse website.
Last week was a very busy week for Jericoadaptstoys!
We met with school administrators from Nassau BOCES, Carman Road School, and AHRC Saul and Elaine Seiff Educare Center. We are excited to be working with both programs!!
We also presented to a large Cub Scout troop on toy adaptation - the scouts were super excited about toy adaptation and our project. They were so kind to donate toys and lots of batteries!
We attended Angela’s House two day holiday party extravaganza where various children tried some of our adapted toys. What fun we all had!
We have adapted about 30 toys so far (many more to come) and will start loaning toys free of charge to our partnering schools and programs this month!
Thank you, all of you, for your support.
As you purchase toys for your children this holiday season, and see that you are no longer using one or more battery operated toys you may already have, we hope you will consider donating those toys to our cause. Please message/contact us if you have a toy for us.
Please share our mission!