This month, we're spotlighting TOM: Melbourne's Education Programs Coordinator, Taylah Hill, as she shares her experience participating as a Need-Knower for Kaspar and his team of Makers.
What was your experience as a Need-Knower for Team Kaspar? What was your Team's challenge, and the solution? As well as working as TOM: Melbourne's Education Programs Coordinator, I am a teacher for a government specialist school for students with a physical disability and/or complex health impairment. Kaspar is a student at this school, and his challenge - like that of many of his peers - was communicating independently within the classroom. Students like Kaspar generally have a PODD (Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display) book on the back of their wheelchair, which serves as their "voice" and how they communicate. The challenge was that Kaspar had no way of accessing it independently as it was stored on the back of his wheelchair. The Makeathon process enabled us to come to a final solution that was a PODD book stand, which connects to Kaspar’s wheelchair and allows him to access his “voice” at all times.
How did you find the overall Makeathon experience? This is my very first Makeathon and it has been such a powerful experience. Team Kaspar were so supportive and dedicated so much time to create the prototype. It has been so amazing to work with such an incredible and talented team, who were so involved in creating something bespoke for Kaspar. What would you say to people who are thinking of participating in the next Makeathon? 100% do it! The teams of Makers were so respectful and dedicated in building something to create positive change. It can be quite daunting for families to put themselves out there, but the support from the Maker teams was just incredible. Overall it was a wonderful experience. It has also been great to connect with professionals who are open and willing to share their ideas and suggestions!