Toy Hacking for the Holidays

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  • Sat. Dec. 10, 2016 9:00 - 12:00PM

  • Toy Hacking for the Holidays

    A workshop on toy hacking for children with disabilities.
    Make battery operated devices more accessible, learn to solder
    & modify simple electronics at the same time.

    Saturday, December 10, 2016, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm



    In this workshop attendees will learn and be able to:

    - Describe the components required for a switch to work?
    - List three areas on the body that an individual with a disability can use to access an ability switch, without or with the appropriate mounting tools.
    - Describe two or more characteristics on a toy (or another battery operated device) that allow for switch accessibility.
    - Independently solder the toy or device and add a switch jack for accessibility for an individual with a disability

    Who should attend?

    Occupational, physical, speech language pathologists, music and recreational therapists
    Parents, relatives and family friends
    Makers and tinkerers
    Children under 18 are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult
    Beginners, new to soldering and experts!  This is an introductory course for all learners.

    Past Events
    We have held toy tinkering events in the past, Hacking for the Holidays was a great success and dozens of toys were switch adapted by people who were just learning the basics of soldering and hacking.

    Visit our Facebook Photo Album to see photos from former events,

    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.

    Bring a simple toy (from online or toy store) 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.


    Make your own switch with simple components.


    Please bring a toy to modify and batteries, 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 for your toy.
    Camera to document your awesome hacking

    We will supply you with all the soldering irons, screwdrivers, switch jacks for accessibility switches that you need.




    AOTA logo

    AOTA Information

    • Classification Code: Outcomes: Process
    • Continuing Education Units : .3
    • The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.

    Cancellation Policy:
    Course cancellation by Provider: DIYAbility reserves the right to cancel any training due to insufficient registration or extenuating circumstances and will provide a full tuition refund in such cases.
    Course cancellation by the Learner: Deadline for registration is one week prior to the course. Cancellation will be accepted until that deadline minus a $25 administration fee. No refunds will be given after the deadline.