VIDEO: Students form friendships with special needs peers through talking vests

A group of students at Olinda Elementary in Brea Olinda Unified School District invented computerized vests that allow them to better communicate with peers who have speech impediments or communicative disorders.

The students created the “Vest Buddy,” which uses a Raspberry Pi and Makey Makey hardware and software. The vests can ask questions including “Can I play with you?” and “Will you be my friend?” from buttons the wearer can push.

“We figured out bigger buttons are heavier, and the smaller buttons are lighter and we can fit more on there,” said Shraya, one of the inventors.

Check out the video to learn more about the Vest Buddy and how it’s helping Olinda students make new friends.

Video produced by Paul Gibson and Austin Duffis of OCDE’s Communications and Media Services unit.