Tag Archives: Maker Faire

Photos from The First-Ever Maker Faire, Made Accessible

A few weekends ago marked our first-ever Maker Faire Made Accessible, a full weekend of hands-on education for blind youth and adults interested in the maker movement. The weekend included an overnight stay at LightHouse with a series of workshops and a daylong trip to the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo.

Participants gathered at the LightHouse on Friday to learn Arduino from board member Joshua Miele, explore tactile maps from MAD Lab, and learn the ins and outs of painting while blind from artist Charles Blackwell.

On Saturday, 28 blind participants and 20 sighted Oracle volunteers hit the Maker Faire to explore the wonders the festival has to offer — including drone racing, robotic dinosaurs, motorized driving cupcakes and the famous Maker Faire dark room with its flashing light installations.

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Oracle for making Maker Faire Made Accessible possible with a generous grant and time generously offered by 20 volunteers.

Check out the photos below: 

Participants feel the large tactile globe at LightHouse headquarters.
Participants feel the large tactile globe at LightHouse headquarters.
Painter Charles Blackwell guides a student’s hand as she feels the raised paint on his painting.
Painter Charles Blackwell guides a student’s hand as she feels the raised paint on his painting.
Maker Faire participants read tactile maps at the LightHouse headquarters.
Maker Faire participants read tactile maps at the LightHouse headquarters.
A closeup of a student's hand examining arduino electronics.
A closeup of a student’s hand examining arduino electronics.
Arduino expert Josh Miele teaches participants about electronics in the Toyota Innovation Lab at LightHouse.
Arduino expert Josh Miele teaches participants about electronics in the Toyota Innovation Lab at LightHouse.
Three participants stand outside of Maker Faire chatting with an Oracle Volunteer.
Three participants stand outside of Maker Faire chatting with an Oracle Volunteer.
Youth Services Coordinator Richie Flores holds a spiral of purple rope lights in the Dark Room.
Youth Services Coordinator Richie Flores holds a spiral of purple rope lights in the Dark Room.
After a long day of exploring the Faire, a yellow lab guide dog rests its head on a participant's leg.
After a long day of exploring the Faire, a yellow lab guide dog rests its head on a participant’s leg.
A group of participants and LightHouse Staff including Youth Services Coordinators Richie Flores and Jamey Gump, and Director of Access Technology Erin Lauridsen feel lush blades of grass in a aquaponics display.
A group of participants and LightHouse Staff including Youth Services Coordinators Richie Flores and Jamey Gump, and Director of Access Technology Erin Lauridsen feel lush blades of grass in an aquaponics display.
Richie and a participant stand next to a robotic dinosaur.
Richie and a participant stand next to a robotic dinosaur.
Richie, Erin and a student smile for group shot.
Richie, Erin and a student smile for group shot.
A group shot of two participants and an Oracle volunteer.
A group shot of two participants and an Oracle volunteer.
Jamey and five students smile for a group picture.
Jamey and five students smile for a group picture.
Two students and an Oracle volunteer pose together.
Two students and an Oracle volunteer pose together.
Two students and an Oracle volunteer pose together.
Two students and an Oracle volunteer pose together.
Participants in the bus on the way to Maker Faire raise their arms in celebration.
Participants in the bus on the way to Maker Faire raise their arms in celebration.

Maker Faire: LightHouse & Oracle Present an Accessible Weekend-long Retreat for Blind Makers

“Blind people are makers. Since 1917 LightHouse blind workers under the Blindcraft label have made everything from fine rattan furniture to advanced basketry and even chains and rope for the US Navy. Today, blind people solder, build robots and do advanced woodworking,” says Dr. Joshua Miele, Associate Director of the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, organizer of the local Blind Arduino Meetup and LightHouse Board Member. “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 Enchanted Hills Camp in Napa. This spring, we’re looking for up to 20 young makers to attend 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. Thanks to a generous grant from Oracle we’ll be offering full scholarships to cover fees and travel expenses for a few lucky participants — so sign up early! The deadline to register is May 5.

Maker Faire Logo

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.

A woman touches a light sculpture at the Bay Area Maker Faire.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 youth@lighthouse-sf.org or by phone at 415-694-7372.