Furthering Inclusivity in Making: A Framework for Accessible Design of Makerspaces for Learners with Disabilities


Recent discourse on inclusive and equitable design in makerspaces primarily focuses on gender equity (e.g., Buchholz, et al, 2014; Buechley, et al, 2008) and cultural diversity (e.g., Scott, Sheridan & Clark, 2015) with little scholarly attention devoted to the accessibility for learners with disabilities (e.g., Brady, et al, 2014). Given that the design of tools and environments have an influence on how learners position themselves in a community of practice, the inaccessibility of makerspaces and activities can lead to the exclusion of individuals with different sensory, physical, and cognitive abilities. Subscribing to Universal Design philosophies (Steinfeld & Maisel, 2012) and socio-cultural perspectives (John-Steiner & Mahn, 1996; Scott, Sheridan & Clark, 2015), we contend that inviting learners with disabilities as design partners not only serves to increase their personal accessibility but also serves to enhance inclusivity across the spectrum of ability, gender and culture.

In American Educational Research Association (AERA)

This poster has been presented in the 2018 American Educational Research Association in NY, US.