Category: daily living skills

Home Repair Skills Training Program

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DO IT YOURSELF ENTRY" ----- PURPOSE: To assist individuals with low vision or blindness in becoming familiar with basic home hand tools and home repair and maintenance tasks. This program is designed for students from 10 to 22 years of age and takes the form of a one-day hands-on workshop. Goals for the workshop participants include learning to identify and use basic handtools (hammer and nails/anchors, awl, saw, screwdrivers, tape measure or click rule, sdjustable wrench, sandpaper, and level); using the tools to complete simple maintenance tasks; complete, with minimal assistance, a small building project; and, gain confidence and independence in doing these kinds of tasks. The workshop consists of six stations, eached staffed with volunteers. At station one, a box filled with various types of light bulbs is placed in the center of the table, along with items that use the bulbs. As the student removes a bulb from the box, he or she works with the volunteer to determine which item might use that bulb. When the appropriate item is identified, the student changes the lightbulb and then plugs the item in to ensure it works. At station two, students learn to identify and change the batteries in a flashlight, smoke alarm, talking thermometer, and talking clock. As with station one, a box containing batteries and another containing the battery-using items are placed in the center of the table. The student selects an item and is instructed in how to remove the battery door. Using the shape and size of the cavity, the students determine which battery or batteries to use. The volunteer shows the student which end of the battery is positive (pointed) and which is negative (flat) and work with the student to learn to place the batteries properly, both individually and in a series. Station three is the tool station where students measure, saw, and sand the edges of a board; tighten and loosen a bolt; lubricate a hinge; use a clamp; and use flat-head and phillips screwdrivers. At this station, two four foot x four foot boards are hinged together to stand like a book. Afixed to the boards are several bolts and screws. Students examine the two types of screwdrivers in various sizes and determine how they differ. They then locate a screw on the board that matches the screwdriver. If the screwdriver is too large or too small, they locate a screwdriver of the correct size. The students are then introduced to an adjustable wrench and practice loosening and tightening bolts. At the far end of the table, 2 foot x four foot boards are available to practice sawing. Students use a clamp to secure the board to the table. The volunteers instruct the students in proper body position and in making an ititial cut to create a saw guide. When the sawing task is complete, students sand the edges, working with the grain. The final task at this station has the students return to the hinged boards where they lubricate the hinges with spray lubricant while holding a paper towel at the bottom to catch drips. Station four teaches bathroom maintenance. Students are introduced to a new, unistalled toilet where they use their hands to locate the opening at the rear bottom of the bowl. They completely cover the opening with a plunger to create a vacuum. They then push down and release repetetively to clear "blockage." The students are then taken to a restroom and shown how to locate the water supplies for sinks and toilets and how to turn them off. At station five, students use an accessible level, measuring tape or click rule, and a hammer and nails/anchors to correctly center and hang a picture or coat rack on a wall 10-foot wall created specially for the workshop. Station six has the students use the tools and skills learned at the previous statioin to build a small toolbox. Pre-cut wood for the sides, bottom, and ends, as well as a dowel for the handle are provided. Students determine how the pieces fit together and use a hammer, nails, and an awl to build the box. Other pre-cut projects can also be substituted. TOOLS: Hammer, saw, phillips screwdriver, flat-head screwdriver, sandpaper, plunger, accessible level, and an awl. MATERIALS: Lightbulbs and corresponding apliances, batteries and corresponding appliances, boards, hinges, screws and bolts, spray lubricant, toilet, picture frame or coat rack nails/anchors, and precut wood project. SKILLS REQUIRED: Simple carpentry and home maintenance skills. AUTHOR: Layher, R. TITLE: Tools for Life (in Springboard). JOURNAL: RE:view. REF: Vol. 38 no. 1, Spring 2006: p. 25-29. PAGES: 6 with cover. 2006.


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