The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATiA) is an organization for manufactures, sellers, and providers of assistive technology. Assistive Technology is any device that enables people with disabilities to better interact with their environment and allow them a newfound sense of independence. The mission of ATiA is to help distribute the best products and services to anyone who has disabilities, in order to improve their day to day lives. Roaring Riptide has had the honor of working with ATiA in such an incredible movement.
ATMakers in an organization founded by Bill Binko, with the ultimate goal of improving accessibility to assistive technology. The organization pools the skills of a variety of individuals in the Maker community in order to develop and create personalized devices that greatly assist the people they are designed for. The organization helps by providing descriptions and directions for all of the projects developed. This allows for any person or group to work alongside ATMakers to better their community. Roaring Riptide has been one of the groups to directly work alongside the ATMakers to reach out and use our engineering skills to have a lasting impact in society. (Also see Christmas Toy Adapt-A-Thon for more information about the ATMakers and our involvement.)
The ATiA Maker Day 2018
The ATiA Maker Day was an absolutely incredible gathering of makers involved in assistive technology to showcase the profound creations that enable people with disabilities to live a more independent life. Thanks to our work alongside ATMakers, Bill Binko helped Roaring Riptide secure a place at the conference. We were able to directly interact with the community we aim to reach out to through our involvement in assistive technology. While at the conference, Roaring Riptide was able to showcase a number of different assistive technology solutions we’ve been working on. From 12V Car Adaptations to Toy Adaptations – our team had a chance to work alongside some of the most fabulous AT Makers across the world to impact the community. The 12V Car Adaptation is a project to take 12V Power Wheel Jeep and reimagine the construction in order to allow children with limited motor control to also enjoy them. Instead of requiring the fine motor control of pressing your foot at variable intensities, the Adapted Car attaches a large button to the wheel which activates the motors, and thus allows for a much more grandiose movement to activate the car. While the ability to utilize the car as a toy is an awesome opportunity for these children, it simultaneously has many other implications. For instance, as an alternative to the expensive wheelchairs designed for children. The wheelchairs quickly become obsolete as a child grows, and there is an awkward period where a child loses a sense of individuality and independence. These cars are a much cheaper option to allow children to maintain a sense of independence and navigate the world around them before being able to use a larger wheelchair. In addition to that we also demonstrated adaptation of many different kinds of toys such as the “historic” Fart gun and the Bubble maker. Usually the children with limited motor control are not able to play with the toys right out of the box so we adapted and repackaged them carefully so they look new when given to the children. It is not only fun for the children as they are finally able to play with the toys the receive but it also gives them a sense of hope and independence. (To learn more about our team adapting toys click here).
The first ever ATiA Makers Day was an idea of David Dikter, the CEO of ATiA and then organized by ATMakers.