“Blind people are makers. We can do things like soldering and building robots and woodworking,” says Dr. Joshua Miele, Associate Director of the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute and organizer of the local Blind Arduino Meetup. “We might use slightly different techniques, but the outcome is the same. The LightHouse is all about teaching these alternative techniques so that people can engage in the activities they love, whether they’re sighted or not.”
At LightHouse, we know a lot of accomplished blind makers, which is why we offer blind soldering workshops, science and craft courses both in San Francisco and Napa. This spring, we’re hosting the very first Maker Faire, Made Accessible: May 18 – 22.
The new LightHouse Maker Faire Made Accessible will be a packed weekend of hands-on experience for blind young adults interested in the maker movement. The weekend will include an overnight stay at LightHouse with a series of events and a daylong trip to the Maker Faire in San Mateo. Expect hands-on learning, guided tours of Bay Area’s Maker Faire facilitated by Oracle volunteers, and demonstrations by blind makers eager to show other blind makers the tricks of their trade. We’ll be offering full scholarships to cover fees and travel expenses for a few lucky participants — so sign up early!
Maker Faire is a celebration of the Maker Movement, a showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness. The Bay Area’s Maker Faire is the largest Maker Faire in the nation, right in the heart of Silicon Valley in Northern California. Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is a gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students and commercial exhibitors. “Makers” come to Maker Faire to show and share what they have made and what they have learned.
The weekend will use LightHouse headquarters as a home base to expand upon and explore all that Maker Faire has to offer. Our core group will consist of blind makers age 14-30, but we encourage those outside the age range to apply.
Starting on Thursday, May 18 we’ll welcome 20 blind participants from across the country and the region to the LightHouse Headquarters in San Francisco. Students will stay at the new LightHouse student residences, which houses up to 29 students.
On Friday, May 19, students will participate in tutorials, workshops and presentations with blind mentors who are makers themselves. They will offer hands-on demonstrations, exhibit their own work, and provide tailored guidance and consultation.
On Saturday, May 20 students will travel as a group to the Maker Faire for guided tours with Oracle volunteers. Volunteers will accompany students one-on-one to describe the projects showcased at the various booths, and stop off at a few booths of blind makers.
And finally, on Sunday May, 21, former LightHouse Board Member Jerry Kuns will lead participants on a guided walking tour of San Francisco.
To sign up for Maker Faire 2017, receive an application, and determine your eligibility for full scholarship, including travel, please contact email@example.com or by phone at 415-694-7372.