Assistive Device Center

Assistive Device Center staff members

Assistive Device Center staff Andrea Tavares (Occupational Therapist), Tim Moore (Electro-Mechanical Engineer), and Molly Campbell (Occupational Therapist)

Think Creatively, Plan Collaboratively, Build Economically

For more than 30 years, Assistive Device Center (ADC) products have been an integral part of the culture at Perkins and elsewhere. Custom-made adaptive equipment and learning materials are found in every classroom on campus. Itinerant teachers distribute ADC items to support student education across the state and beyond.

What We Build

Commercially available adaptive equipment doesn’t always meet the needs of those with unique challenges. Students may require special accommodations for seating or positioning, as well as items to optimize the vision they have. The ADC designs and constructs products to improve communication, provide stabilization of learning materials, aid in organizing space, time management and more. Most importantly, ADC items help students realize exploring the sensory world around them is pretty cool!

Staff and volunteers collaborate with teachers, families, therapists and students, crafting solutions and environmental modifications aimed at solving real-world problems. They build using readily available, low-cost materials such as cardboard, wood, plastics and fabrics. They construct and mount modifications enabling the effective use of commercially available products. ADC items are safe, functional, durable, attractive – and always designed with a goal of improving the lives of students. Check out our Building Guides if you'd like to try building some yourself!

variety of toddler seats created by the ADC

An array of toddler seats created by the Assistive Device Center

How to Request Items/Modifications:

If you have or work with a Perkins student, and are interested in a product or modification, contact the ADC. The staff will make a plan to observe or measure the child if needed and then begin fabrication. The ADC also occasionally builds equipment for children not serviced by Perkins. Material and construction fees are determined on an item-to-item basis. To learn more, please contact the Perkins ADC.

Learning Opportunities

Interested people and groups are invited to come to the ADC to learn how to fabricate adaptive equipment. We rely on our dedicated volunteers to help with all parts of the constructions process. If you are not a Perkins employee, fees for time and materials will apply. Several different types of arrangements can be made.

Individual: Make an appointment to come in and build a specific device. Just contact us and we’ll discuss the possibilities and how we can move ahead!

Custom Internship to Benefit a School: If you’re interested in establishing an adaptive design program in another school, we can create an “internship” that matches your time availability, interests, skills and budget. This can last from a few days to several weeks.

Group Workshops & Staff Development Days

Arrange a workshop tailored to the needs of a group. Then again, you could gather your colleagues for a fun “staff development day.” We’ll provide instruction and can even gear materials to meet specific needs from cortical vision impairment to active learning projects. Topic-based classes such as “Cardboard Carpentry,” “Sensory Exploration Space Construction” and “Switch Making and Toy Modification” are also regularly offered. Contact the ADC directly or watch for listings on the Perkins Learning Center site for upcoming classes.

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