Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) is a non-profit organization that aims to develop and promote open source assistive technology. The organization was established with the goal of improving the lives of individuals with disabilities through the use of technology.
Pittsburgh’s education and maker landscape is very unique, TOM sees a lot of potential integrating inclusive and disability design into education to create better solutions for everyone, promote social inclusion and equity, and meet the growing demand for students who understand the importance of accessibility.
TOM leverages the expertise of makers, engineers, and designers to create and distribute low-cost, custom-made solutions that can help those in need. By using open source principles, TOM ensures that these solutions are accessible and available to everyone, regardless of their location or financial resources.
Assistive technology has the power to change lives, overcome barriers and perform daily tasks more easily and independently. For individuals with disabilities or special needs, it can mean the difference between feeling isolated and powerless, and feeling connected and empowered.
Here’s an overview of how developing products for people with disabilities impact students:
The TOM Global Innovation Challenge (GIC) is a global competition to design, engineer, and create affordable assistive technologies:
This CNN interview shows how TOM makes high-quality but still affordable custom 3D-printed prosthetic arm that saves disabled patients thousands of dollars:
TOM hosts a building party to engage the community and donate the products to people in need. See how the TOM community makes children’s wheelchairs:
By making assistive technology affordable, more people can benefit from increased independence, improved communication and mobility, and access to information and educational resources. Additionally, affordable assistive technology can also help to break down barriers and promote inclusiveness and accessibility for all.