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Hacking for the Holidays at Adaptive Design Association


Saturday, December 15, 2012 from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM (EST)

Hacking for the Holidays at Adaptive Design Association

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Remaining Sales End Price Fee Quantity
General Admission 10 Tickets Ended $25.00 $1.49

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Event Details

Hacking for the Holidays 

A workshop on toy hacking for children with disabilities.

Make the Holidays more accessible,
 learn to solder
& modify simple electronics at the same time.


Saturday December 15th, 11:30AM - 2:30PM

Adaptive Design Association
313 West 36th Street, NY NY 10018

Hosted by DIYAbility
All proceeds go to support Adaptive Design Association. 

Green Alien Toy being modified for switch access



Hacking for the Holidays we will cover

  • how to modify toys for use with accessibility switches 
  • learn how to solder and work with simple battery operated electronics.


Who should attend?

  • Occupational, music and recreational therapists
  • Parents, relatives and family friends
  • Makers and tinkerers
  • Children under 18 are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult


What is Switch Accessibility?

For many kids with physical disabilities playing with off-the-shelf toys is not possible, depending on their unique abilities a toy might not be accessible. 

However, if a child can move their head, feet, arm, mouth or any other part of their body it is possible to use a switch to play with the toy. 

Adding switch jacks to a toy will not affect the original quality of use, the existing buttons will operate as normal and kids who use accessibility switches will now be able to operate the toy.

Learn how to solder and hack

We will take store bought toys and modify them for switch accessibility. We will discuss the skills you need to switch adapt toys and other devices in the future for personal use, work and fun. 

  • Learn how to open and identify the components inside a toy or basic electronic device.
  • Understand the wiring of a toy from battery to switches to the activation of the device.
  • Learn to solder and add an accessibility switch jack to an off-the-shelf toy. And put the toy back together for normal use or with a switch.

Ideal Toys for Hacking

Please bring a toy to modify, we will not be providing them. Select a toy that is appropriate for your child. Below is a list of characteristics for selecting a toy for easy modification.
  • MUST run on batteries, no AC / wall plug toys.
  • Toys with simple operation, a touch, squeeze, pinch, pull. For example, a teddy bear that sings when its foot or hand is squeezed, or its belly is poked.
  • Inexpensive toys are actually easier to open and adapt.
  • Remote control toys, electronic musical instruments and electronic whoopee cushions are great!

Things to bring to the workshop.
  • Battery operated toy & batteries.
  • Camera to document your awesome hacking

Recommendations - great toys that are fun and easy to hack

Sesame Street Squeeze A Song Elmo

Color Bug

Remote Control Fart Machine RC Whoopee Cushion

Spin Art Machine Rose Art by Mega Brands

Motorized Bubble Machine - Dora the Explorer

Multi Voice Changer by Toysmith: Change your voice with 10 different voice modifiers

Kid Galaxy My 1st RC GoGo Fire Truck


About DIYAbility

We believe that people with and without disabilities can be empowered when using the correct technology. More importantly, we want everyone to know they have the right to participate in the design & making of technology - having the opportunity to make your own 'stuff' can lead to increased quality of life, maintaining independence, perhaps a new career and staying curious about the world. Making also happens to be really fun!

The goal of DIYAbility is to create a community for people who believe that technology is world opening. The tools and software available today can let anyone implement and make their own devices and make almost anything else. DIYAbility is not just about assistive technology and all that orthopedic looking stuff - it is about acting on an idea whether it is for personal fun or assistance.

Read more about us here, http://www.diyability.org.

Have questions about Hacking for the Holidays at Adaptive Design Association? Contact DIYAbility

When & Where

Adaptive Design Association
313 W 36th St
New York, NY 10018

Saturday, December 15, 2012 from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM (EST)

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Hacking for the Holidays at Adaptive Design Association
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