McGyver Kits for AT Making

Essential tools and materials for AT making from ATinNH Director Therese Willkomm, Ph.D.

Readers of our article, “Therese Willkomm’s AT Maker Wisdom,” are likely chomping at the bit to know exactly what makes up a “McGyver Kit” of essential tools and materials. Dr. Willkomm is the Director of the New Hampshire assistive technology program, and the kits are used for teaching persons with disabilities, their caregivers, therapists and others how to make AT solutions “in 10 minutes or less.”

Well, chomp no longer! AT3 Center News and Tips reached out to Dr. Willkomm and Program Coordinator Stacy Driscoll for the McGyver Kit contents and where to obtain each item.

Here’s the kit:

A collection of 15 numbered items ranging from tapes to scissors.
McGyver Kit Tools and Materials
  1. Remo One (double-sided adhesive foam tape that’s permanent on one side and removable on the other)
  2. Remo Two (double-sided adhesive foam tape that’s repositionable on both sides)
  3. Lok-Lift Rug Gripper Tape
  4. Tommy Tape Self-fusing Silicone Miracle Wrap
  5. Velcro Brand One Wrap
  6. Twist Ties Foam Coated Flexible Storage Wrap (check out this adapted marker)
  7. Instamorph (moldable plastic)
  8. Ratcheting PVC pipe cutter (check out how to use this tool)
  9. Scissors
  10. Silver Fine Point Sharpie
  11. Black Fine Point Sharpie
  12. Utility Knife
  13. CoroClaw
  14. Non-Skid Foam Pads with permanent rubber adhesive
  15. Needle nose pliers

These essential tools are used with building materials that commonly include corrugated plastic, PVC pipe, and Loc-Line. Dr. Willkomm sometimes prepares these tools and materials into mini project kits for workshop participants. (For example, she’s made kits for a universal cuff, a Book Eileen, and a Pocket Eileen.)

The backstory:

The idea for sharing these contents at the AT3 Center blog comes from a conversation with Eric Oddleifson, Assistant Vice President of Assistive Technology and Community Support Services at Easter Seals MA. The Massachusetts AT program is opening a new AT Regional Center this fall (administered by Easter Seals) and our article about Dr. Willkomm’s work piqued Oddleifson’s interest. “The plan for the new AT center is to go beyond demonstration and loan and become a place for workshops and learning,” Oddleifson says. “Dr. Willkomm’s approach is a good fit.”

To get started, Oddleifson will create a make-and-take station for the new center. He intends to have Dr. Willkomm’s latest book available, as well as some basic materials for two or three AT projects. The McGyver kits interest him because, he says, “More OTs and PTs might try AT making if we had McGyver Kits ready-made and available for borrowing.”

For more project ideas, check out Dr. Willkomm’s Assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes–Ordinary Items, Extraordinary Solutions (vol. 2).