Lets build something great together!

One of the major difficulties facing parents of children with special needs in the past was finding a support group where ideas, success stories, and tips could be shared with others in similar situations.

Thankfully, that is changing, and there’s one less thing that parents of special needs children have to worry about.

With internet availability being widespread and the growth of social networks like youBelong & youBelong Community connecting with others and sharing information is becoming easier and easier. While every disability is different and each child is unique, digital collaboration through online communities has made finding a prescription for success much easier for everyone.

Let us now your thoughts and tell us what you want to see here in this community. Let’s build something great together!

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I built a small device for a friend who complained of bashing her head on the corner of her kitchen range hood. The proof-of-concept was done with a Raspberry Pi, an ultrasonic sensor and a set of wired audio speakers: if her head got close enough, the sensor triggered a recording saying “Watch your head!” Except for the wires and the bulk, it performed very nicely (her 4-year-old absolutely loved it). Then I rebuilt it using an ESP32 instead of the Raspberry Pi (to get the cost and the size down and better allow for batteries). We adjust the trigger distance and load voice recordings through the microUSB port using a program on a laptop. When mounted on the range hood, it’s powered through that same microUSB port (wall-wart AC cord or battery for up to 6 hours, so far). Some tweaks to the programming can be done via bluetooth but the ESP32 is limited to bluetooth4, which isn’t good for audio streaming. The ESP32 is easily used in a self-extending, self-healing bluetooth mesh. I’m now tinkering on a whole-house network with edge devices that offer bluetooth5, speech-to-text, text-to-speech and options for Braille displays: I was asked if I could build a network that would allow near-real-time conversations between deaf-blind people and anyone else. So many possibilities now that the tech is getting there.

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