A new initiative to help individuals with disabilities prepare for and secure meaningful jobs that match their personal goals, interests, and talents is the latest project from the Archimedes Hawai‘i project team. The Technology for Untapped Talent (TUT) project takes the team, led by Neil Scott, back to their roots in providing technology-based solutions to the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities. Beginning with the Invention Factory project that gave students hands-on experiences in electronics, engineering, and technology as they invented or modified toys and devices for use by children with disabilities, the next step was to move into teacher professional development with the Makery as a way to reach greater numbers of students. The Makery used computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines to prepare students for careers in high-intellectual-value industries based on STEM disciplines.
Funded by the Hawai‘i Department of Human Services, TUT brings the team full circle as they use their experience and knowledge to work directly with people with disabilities to create individual paths to employment in STEM fields through a set of advanced skills that allow them to use computers to design and make real products.