RISE UP/GEAR UP

How makerspaces can be accessible to people with disabilities

Inside the University of Washington’s CoMotion MakerSpace, students, faculty and staff use sewing machines to create anime convention costumes, 3-D print models for aeronautics research or make circuits for a custom-built amplifier.

Inspired by the DIY movement, these communal spaces with soldering irons, laser cutters, saws, duct tape, pegboards full of tools, butcher paper, crayons and other “making” tools are popping up across the country. They enable a broader array of people to tinker, create, crochet or prototype whatever invention they can dream up.

To ensure those spaces are truly inclusive, a team of UW researchers has released new guidelines aimed at ensuring makerspaces are accessible to people with disabilities.

Read full article in UW Today