Request for Assistive Pencil Grip (Gahanna, OH, USA)

Requestor: @hello2


Message:
Hi! I’m an artist with a rare disease called MCTD (like arthritis, lupus, and other autoimmune diseases all in one). I’ve been on the search for a big enough pen/pencil grip for a long time and this one looks great. I heard about Makers Making Change from Tech Owl PA on TikTok. I find myself often just not sketching/drawing/writing because it hurts too much to hold writing utensils, and I’d like to get back to doing those things with as little pain as possible. I provided some social links, but you can also find more of my work on TikTok @snailypo if you’d like to know about the kind of art I make and how you would be helping me!
Thank you!

MMC Entry .I.D: 7038

1 Like

Great to hear, and thanks for reaching out @hello2. Let me connect with @thomasd to see if he can help get this made for you.

2 Likes

@hello2 There are so many options to assist you. A small tennis ball, a foam curler, a universal cuff, an industrial twist tie, or modeling clay.

This reply is a little bit upsetting as a disabled person. I (and so many of my disabled friends) have deprived myself of accessibility aids for a long time because of the assumption that I’m not “disabled enough” to need them or that I can make do with alternatives not designed for my specific needs. It takes a lot of courage to post somewhere like this and ask for help for the first time. Without any grip strength, how am I supposed to make holes in the tennis ball? I can’t even open a ketchup packet or pop a soda can tab. I’ve tried grip tubing, which fits my needs better than a foam curler AND is designed for accessibility, and still hurts. A universal cuff doesn’t give me the large surface area I need. Why does this assistive pencil grip exist if people can just use the options you listed? It’s incredibly frustrating to identify a resource that seems like it would finally help me do my job with less pain, and then to be told that there are other options-- it’s not like I’m depleting a free resource that other people need more than I do. I’m sure that you had the best intentions by letting me know that there are other options for me, but the impact of your reply made me feel like I shouldn’t have sought help from this resource designed to help people.

I apologize if I offended you. That was certainly not my intention. I was offering ideas in addition to the device you are requesting, not instead of. I’m sure someone will make the pencil grip for you. I would but I do not have a 3-D printer. It is my goal to have many options for people with disabilities. I also have a fine motor deficit due to a stroke so I am not speaking to you as an able bodied person.

@hello2 I would be happy to make one for you but my 3D printer is not currently running, so it might take a bit before I would actually be able to send it to you. Hopefully another maker will be able to get one to you sooner but if you still need it once I get it running again, I can help then!

@hello2 Do you have a grip in mind that you would like? If so can you provide the URL/link to it and I can make you some.

It’s a great reply, @hello2 reminding all to be humble and cherish courage. I suspect that as an artist you are skilled in 3D drawings, maybe even using CAD!?

(I’m interested in co-designing and namely co-creation (see https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31237803/) and am working to get another paper published that will explain further. )

I would propose that you make a sketch of what solutions you may have in mind and post them here. Then we could brainstorm some solutions in a codesign process. I do think of a 3D printed thing. We may have to consider what specific movements that are causing problems, therefore you/we will need some private discussions. (I have no idea how MMC can facilitate that!?)

Working in a rehabilitation institute I notice that you are not the only person facing similar challenges so it would be nice if you could create, with some help, a generally useful solution.

What do you think?

BTW. Please check out this database of assistive devices:http://www.eastin.eu/en/searches/Products/List?iso=221203. It’s a long list to go through but you can refine the search. I propose you to select some solutions that come close to what you think can do for you.

Thank you for your inspiration