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Accessible Makerspaces and Hackathons for Assistive Technology


Engineering Accessibility and Engineering Education

Building an accessible, hybrid-by-design makerspace and hackathon series for adaptive technology

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Motivated by the philosophical overlap between makerspace culture and the needs of assistive technology users, we investigated the ways that makerspaces can support the development of new technologies by and for disabled makers. Using eleven semi-structured interviews with makerspace operators and disabled makerspace users, we identified five categories of barriers to makerspace
participation: recruitment/outreach, physical access, financial, access to information, and belonging. Based on these interviews, we highlight ways makerspaces can better welcome makers with disabilities: enabling members to create adaptive technologies for the
space (“makerspacing the makerspace”), making the physical space and information within the space accessible, and fostering belonging by building relationships with the disability community. Overall, our work contributes to our understanding of the possibilities and challenges of connecting the disabled community with the maker community and suggests new directions for collaboration, especially towards building hybrid makerspaces that provide multiple modalities for connection and creativity

Documentation (files or external links): 

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