The intersection of technology and do-it-yourself (DIY) culture, known as the Maker Movement, has been praised for encouraging Americans to be creative and resourceful. However, the costly technology associated with the movement has raised concerns about accessibility. Amy Hurst, information systems, spoke to the Huffington Post this week about how she is encouraging diverse populations to engage in making.
Through working with individuals with intellectual disabilities and visual impairments, Hurst found that many DIY tools were difficult to use. Supported by a National Science Foundation grant, she started developing new tools and platforms to help people repair or customize objects, calling it “Making for All.” The tools developed range from VizTouch, which lets teachers quickly 3-D print math equations for visually impaired students, to GripFab, which allows individuals with disabilities print custom hand grips.
“We’re empowering people to incorporate making into their daily lives to solve their own accessibility challenges,” Hurst said. “These are individuals who many people would discount and overlook and not think of as makers and we were getting them to do 3-D printing just like engineering students.”
Read “Democratizing the Maker Movement” in Huffington Post.