Accessible Making: Designing Makerspaces for Accessibility

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Katherine M. Steele
Brianna Blaser
Maya Cakmak


The purpose of makerspaces is to increase access to “making” among the general community. Because of this social justice orientation, it is important to consider how welcoming and accessible makerspaces are to individuals with diverse abilities, including individuals with disabilities. This design brief examines a three-step process used to make a university-based makerspace more accessible and welcoming to individuals with disabilities including a tour, design activity, and brainstorming session. The process helps identify simple changes that were made to the makerspace, as well as increasing student, faculty, and community access. Using a similar process, other makerspaces could improve the accessibility of their spaces, procedures, and tools.


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How to Cite
Steele, K. M., Blaser, B., & Cakmak, M. (2018). Accessible Making: Designing Makerspaces for Accessibility. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 9(1), 114–121.
Author Biographies

Katherine M. Steele, University of Washington

Katherine M. Steele is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Washington (UW). She leads the Ability & Innovation Lab, which uses engineering to improve quality of life and movement for individuals with disabilities.

Brianna Blaser, University of Washington

Brianna Blaser is a program coordinator/counselor for AccessEngineering at the UW. Brianna has a PhD in women studies and is interested in broadening participation in STEM education, particularly among individuals with disabilities.

Maya Cakmak, University of Washington

Maya Cakmak is an assistant professor at UW in computer science & engineering. She directs the Human-Centered Robotics Lab, which researches human-robot interaction, end-user programming, and assistive robotics. 


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