KM Steele, B Blaser, M Cakmak (2018) “Accessible Making: Designing makerspaces for accessibility” International Journal of Designs for Learning

Journal article in International Journal for Designs for Learning


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 helped 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.

Makerspaces provide the general community with a space to brainstorm, prototype, and create. Considering this, it is especially important to create a welcoming environment for individuals with diverse abilities, including individuals with disabilities.

To read the article in full, CLICK HERE.Students participate in a prototyping challenge in our makerspace exploration.



How to Create a Makerspace – Campus Technology

Campus Technology, an online information source for higher education, features an interview with our own Dr. Steele about how to create a Makerspace. Find out what a Makerspace is, why they are created, and what kind of space is important. Here is a quote of Dr. Steele’s pulled from the article by Leila Meyer. Click HERE to read the article in full.

Having an outlet where you can work with teams, find people with different backgrounds and use this space to turn ideas into reality is really powerful for the students, as both an educational space to complement their courses and a space where they can really dive deep and figure out what their passions are and what they want to create for the world.”


Make it Universal

AccessEngineering and Dr. Steele’s recent work on creating guidelines for making makerspaces accessible was featured in the School Library Journal. It is a great resource, featuring different DIY and makerspace movements that support individuals with disabilities around the US. In particular, check out some of theAccessEngineering and DO-IT summer students explore the CoMotion makerspace. great work on how toys can be easily hacked for individuals with disabilities from John Schimmel and Holly Cohen, cofounders of DIYAbility, .

You can read the full article here:

Make It Universal

Engineering Innovation in Medicine: Fall 2015

The Engineering Innovations in Medicine 2015-2016 Class is underway! This year we have 70 students from mechanical engineering, material science, bioengineering, electrical engineering, and rehabilitation medicine pursuing 15 projects. We have an outstanding team of clinical and industry mentors who inspired these projects and will be working with the teams throughout the year.

In the first two weeks of classes students have completed a prototyping challenge, toured the Institute for Simulation in Surgery at UW hospital, dived into needs finding, and met with their mentors to launch each project. We are excited to see what everyone creates this year!

Prototyping challenge during the first day of class.

KUOW Feature: Accessible Makerspaces

Brainstorm session for creating accessible makerspaces.We were privileged to have Jamala Henderson from KUOW Public Radio join in during our brainstorms and activities for creating accessible makerspaces.

She has put together a wonderful news story about our project and included some great quotes from the students about why we should create accessible makerspaces:

“The cool thing about engineering spaces is a lot of people use engineering spaces to help solve other problems for people with disabilities, and I think it would be cool if people with disabilities were more involved with solving their own problems.” – Kayla Wheeler

Listen to the full story here: KUOW 94.9 FM