Do-It-Yourself Empowerment as Experienced by Novice Makers with Disabilities

Meissner, Janis, Vines, John, McLaughlin, Janice, Nappey, Thomas, Maksimova, Jekaterina and Wright, Peter (2017) Do-It-Yourself Empowerment as Experienced by Novice Makers with Disabilities. In: DIS 2017 - Designing Interactive Systems, 10th - 14th June, Edinburgh, UK.

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Recent HCI research has highlighted the potential afforded by maker technologies for supporting new forms of DIY Assistive Technology (DIY-AT) for people with disabilities. Furthermore, the popular discourse surrounding both the maker movement and disability is one of democratisation and empowerment. Despite this, critics argue that maker movement membership lacks diversity and that within DIY-AT, it is seldom the people with disabilities who are creating such designs. We conducted a qualitative study that explored how people with disabilities experience the empowering potential of making. We analysed online videos by makers with disabilities and conducted fieldwork at two makerspaces. These informed the design of DIY-Abilities, a series of workshops for people with disabilities in which participants could learn different maker technologies and complete their own maker project. Through analysis of participants’ narratives we contribute a new perspective on the specific social and material capacities of accessible maker initiatives.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Making; DIY; disability; empowerment
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
G500 Information Systems
W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Depositing User: John Vines
Date Deposited: 11 May 2017 14:51
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 12:46

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