AAC toys 1

September 21, 2008

When I was a boy–and I don’t see any indication that kids have changed any–violent shoot-’em-up play was quite prevalent. I spent my childhood being a Jedi, soldier, superhero, survivalist resistance fighter behind enemy lines, and giant robot mecha pilot.

How might I have engaged in that sort of thing if I used a wheelchair and AAC?

I probably couldn’t. But kids today can. The beauty of the newer AAC devices is that they are fully functioning tablet PCs. The Mercury, ECO-14, and DV all have USB ports just like any laptop.

Oh the possibilities!

Here is a toy from ThinkGeek that might be interesting mounted to a wheelchair.

It’s a missile launcher! With lasers!

This thing plugs into a PC via USB and it pivots and fires by remote control from a Windows program that comes with it. AAC devices have USB and Windows so they could run it.

The beautiful thing is that the API (Application Programming Interface) is open and available for download. This means that you can write your own program! Someone with Visual Studio, knowledge of .NET (a programming tool), and an afternoon to kill could write a script up that would run the launcher from inside the AAC software. Mount the launcher to a wheelchair, make up a page that interfaces with the launcher and we’re off to war.

We now have the possibility to add the play language to the play activity.

“Pew pew pew!” “I got you!””Nuh-uh, I’m bulletproof.” “Ka-boooom!”

Kid in a wheelchair? Aw, hell no! I’m a battlemech or Gundam pilot! This “wheelchair” is a 50′ tall giant robot tank.



2 Responses to “AAC toys 1”

  1. motherbun Says:

    As your mother, I remember those games. When I took away all your gun toys (I’m a child of the “nam” days), you made guns of your toast! Yes it is universal to “shoot” the enemy. In my day the Indians. Ha! May I suggest that with the AAC programing a simple lazer pen may be just as useful as a weapon, although not as much fun!

  2. […] one of my long-standing ideas for a play context (idea 1 is the Gundam robot, here) is the “wheelchair firetruck.” Idea is simple, add some appropriate stickers, a helmet, […]

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