We, as tinkerers and engineers, have a special gift: We can design and make things — a process seen simply as magical to those who lack the skills and know-how we’ve developed over the years.
What many of us don’t realize is that we can, with fairly little effort, have a big impact on the lives of people with disabilities. Typically electronic devices can be made more user friendly, but such fixes are either expensive or not commercially available. And often those with disabilities can’t design and make the equipment themselves. An engineer volunteering his or her time to design and make a solution for another person not only helps that one person but learns valuable lessons in useability.
I’ve compiled a list of resources for engineers who want to lend a helping hand. These nine websites are where you’ll find a community of people who need things, plans for things you can make, and others like yourself who are willing to collaborate with ideas or effort. While many of the sites may seem to focus mainly on video gaming, you’ll find that the modifications transfer well to other areas.