Posts Tagged ‘accessible toys’

Hacking For The Holidays – December 3rd!

November 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Toy hacking is so much more pleasant than it sounds. Many kids with physical disabilities have trouble playing with battery-operated or electronic toys, and after reading about this opportunity (below) I am looking up cool electronic toys for James just so I can learn how to hack them!

According to

Depending on their unique abilities a toy might not be accessible.

However, if a child can move their feet, head, arm, mouth or any other part of their body it is possible to use a switch to play with the toy. Accessibility switches come in a variety of styles for different abilities.

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.

Who is Invited?

Parents, Occupational Therapists & Makers

Join us on December 3rd for an afternoon of toy hacking for children with disabilities. We will cover the basics switch accessibility including taking a toy apart, identifying the electronics inside and how to solder a universal switch jack for access. Please bring a toy that you would like to switch adapt (see Ideal Toys section below).

When & Where

December 3, 2011 from 12:30pm – 3:30pm
Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU
721 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10003


Ideal Toys for Hacking

Please bring a toy along to modify, we will not be providing them. Select a toy that is appropriate for your child. Below is a list of features when selecting a toy for easy hacking

  • 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.
  • Remote control toys are great (the inexpensive ones are actually easier to hack).
  • Electronic musical instruments & electronic whoopee cushions!
  • See a list of toys that you can modify easily

No prior soldering/toy hacking experience is needed!

Who is hosting this?

The ITPediatrics class at Interactive Telecommunications Program / NYU is hosting Hacking for the Holidays. ITPediatrics is focused on empowering a child in long term pediatric care using low and high tech assistive devices.

The Interactive Telecommunications Program is a 2 year graduate program in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University exploring art, technology and the recently possible.


Email or visit for more info.

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