AAW's Accessible Lathe Program

Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by Rod Smith, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Rod Smith

    Rod Smith

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
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    What is the status of this program being rolled out. I am very much interested as I have a grandson that is visually impaired that this would be good for me to work with him.
     
  2. Hopefully the Manual, etc. will be out later this year...

    Hi Rod!

    Dennis DeVendra and Linda Ferber have been working very hard to get the program launched this year. There are still some edits and publication related things to finish with the Accessible Lathe Manual that Dennis has written; I suspect that the manual will become available some time this fall. I have been through all parts of the manual as a reviewer, and I can tell you that it will be helpful to those turners who will mentor those new turners with visual impairments. There are some good exercises in introductory turning methods that are well-designed for visually impaired learners, plus some specific recommendations about equipment, tool selection, tool placement and storage, etc., plus instructions on how to program specific projects and technique development.

    I had the chance to watch some of the class for visually impaired turners at the AAW Symposium in Tampa, and it was fascinating to see what can be done by these folks! What a thrill to watch them "see" the turning with their hands, and complete projects after a relatively short time! This is going to be a great program!

    Once the remaining editorial, illustration, and layout aspects of the manual are completed, I suspect that Linda will want to get it out ASAP, probably within another month or two (?). I don't know the specific details about how the manual will become available, but I suspect that some web-based method will be used. Recall that the manual is written for sighted turners to assist visually impaired learners of woodturning, so there will hopefully be no delay in getting this out.

    I hope this helps answer your questions!

    Rob Wallace
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
  3. Malcolm Zander

    Malcolm Zander

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    Jul 18, 2010
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    Location:
    Ottawa Canada
    Accessible Lathe Program

    This program has now been renamed Woodturning Beyond Barriers. Its url is given in John van Domelen's sticky at the beginning of this subforum: http://woodturner.org/accessibility/index.htm Do visit it - it is an interesting and developing program, and contributions to help grow it further are invited and welcomed.
     
  4. george wurtzel

    george wurtzel

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
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    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN.
    George Wurtzel Bio

    Hello -- My name is George Wurzel, I am a custom furniture builder, woodturner and teacher in Minneapolis, MN.
    I'm looking forward to helping Linda Ferber, AAW Program Director, to promote her initiative, "Turning Beyond Barriers" program.

    Please see my thoughts below:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I am happy to have become a part of the AAW's Turning Beyond Barriers program.

    I have been blind since birth and have lived and dealt with other people's perceptions of what someone can do or not do based entirely on preconceived notions that have been perpetuated by most people's fear of being blind. They make assumptions about what skills a person wouldn't have if they were blind.

    These prejudices are all based on preconceived notions of what someone else cannot do.

    In my 60 years on this planet I have met a wide range of people and have seen that people have a wide range of abilities and those are not determined by physical limitations.

    I believe people are limited by perceived limitations, (blindness, deafness, lack of motor function, or visible physical characteristics like being in a wheel chair or having missing limbs).

    I hope to enlighten and educate you to understand the abilities of people who have characteristics that can be seen that cloud one's perceptions of their skills and talents.

    When you sit down at a turners meeting next to a person who you have never met you look at them and if they are is dressed in normal clothes have all their arms and legs and look normal you assume they are normal.

    When you ask them what they do for a living and they tell you that they are a brain surgeon, you accept that as their vocation and also based on physical appearance only, you assume they can do that.

    You turn to the other side and see me sitting there with my white cane and ask me what I do for a living. When I tell you that I am a professional woodworker you look at me again and your preconceived prejudices kick in and you say "That is amazing!" Everyone in the room is a wood worker so that makes me pretty normal. What IS amazing is the brain surgeon. Because he had no visible limitations you accepted him as normal. You think I am amazing but I am just like you, a woodworker. I'm not a blind woodworker, I am a woodworker who is blind. I have a couple of measuring tools you don't but I use a lathe and a saw and I do it safely.

    One of my goals with the Turning Beyond Barriers classes is to enlighten all the members as well as teaching turning to people who may have physical limitations. This will enable them to enjoy the same sense of pride everyone has when they use their talents to make something pretty which is admired by people for its beauty and not because of the person who made it.

    Many of the members of AAW are employed and may have influence on the process of employing people. I hope that when you see someone turn a bowl or spindle you will think about how you do that and then look at that person who has visible traits and think of the skills it takes to turn and then think if I can do my job and they can make the same things on the lathe as me they probably can do my job too.

    I hope through this program besides teaching people to turn pretty things and improve their self esteem I can also open your minds to look at the bounty of skills one may have rather then looking at the limitation you may see through your eyes.

    It also one of my life goals to help people with disabilities to become an integral part of the fabric of our world. To help me make a difference in their lives I will teach people the love of using their skills, talents, and abilities to make beautiful things.

    It may teach you to look at what someone's abilities are, and realize they accomplish the same things even though they may not do everything the way you do it.

    So turn with passion and live life with compassion.

    Special thanks to AAW and VSA for funding and promoting a program that can make a difference in all peoples lives.

    For additional information on my lifelong woodworking career, my projects, my thoughts and hopes for the future, and all the things that I think make me "a normal person", click onto my website at: http://www.gmwurtzel.com



    Respectfully,

    George Wurtzel - GMWURTZEL.com
     
  5. Malcolm Zander

    Malcolm Zander

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    Location:
    Ottawa Canada
    Call for Panelists

    Thank you George, for your very eloquent posting. It is indeed true that our prejudices frame our thinking about others.

    For the Phoenix symposium we hope to have another panel discussion by and for and about people with disabilities, such as the one we had in Tampa with two blind woodturners and two in wheelchairs. We are looking for a couple of panelists to join Andi Sullivan on the Phoenix panel. One point which Andi made to me recently expanded my definition of disability (as George has explained, it need not be obvious) - woodturners with carpal tunnel or arthritis. How could we help individuals such as these overcome these barriers and enjoy woodturning better? If any AAW members attending the Phoenix symposium could help us in finding two more people with disability experience for the panel please contact me at mzander@magma.ca or Andi at admiller923@gmail.com

    Malcolm Zander
     
  6. george wurtzel

    george wurtzel

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN.

    Hi Malcolm,
    I would be willing to be on your panel at the Phoenix symposium
    I have not only taught blind and sighted people how to safely turn on the lathe, but also have experience with people, both men & women, who have other physical limitations. These include missing hands, or considerably handicapped from arthritis, carpal tunnel, lack of feeling and muscle control, caused by diabetes, or other coordination issues.
    A common denominator I have found for many of these issues is that most standard lathe tool handles are too small in diameter. As a result, we have experimented and made some prototype, special tool handles -- some as large in diameter as a 12 oz. soda pop can and have also wrapped some other tool handles with the thick spongy wrap that bicyclists use to wrap their handle bars. We have also found it helpful at times to create a depression in the handle for a person's thumb, so they can always know correct tool orientation, by the feel in their hand, when without a visual reference. (On my own hollowing tool, I have a thumb spot depression, because you cannot know well inside the turning, the correct position of the tool's cutter edge.)
    Most of my techniques were developed by trial and error, with a constant commitment to making sure that woodturning could be safe and fun for everyone, even if a person didn't have all of the total physical capabilities as the average turner, with all of his or her normal faculties.
    I have long recognized that the most important thing is having and keeping surgically sharp turning tools. I know that established turners, as yourself and your professional turning friends, have also long recognized this as the paramount safety consideration in turning wood.
    Please feel free to contact me about any turning challenges that you or your friends may have on this subject.

    Cordially,
    George M. Wurtzel
    http://www.gmwurtzel.com
    Minnesota Woodturners Association
    http://www.mnwoodturners.com
    "Success not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts"
    Winston Churchill
     

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