Inclusive Making: designing tools and experiences to promote accessibility and redefine making

Marcelo Worsley*, David Bar-El

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Context: Making is celebrated for bringing exciting tools and learning opportunities to non-traditional designers. However, people with disabilities may find themselves excluded from many making activities and makerspaces. This exclusion is present in making and computer science more broadly. Objective: We describe a university course that helps broaden their awareness of accessibility in computing and promote accessible making solutions. The course engages students in critical examination of making and allows them to instantiate their learning by designing accessible interfaces and experiences. We study the design of the course and its impacts on students. Method: We use techniques from grounded theory to analyze data from surveys, projects, and case studies to elucidate the need and the impact of this experience. Findings: The course filled an important need for students and people with disabilities. By applying a critical disability lens to making, participants developed expansive views of making, both in terms of what “counts” as making and who can participate in it. Implications: Courses on accessibility address important societal and individual needs that are currently not met by CS curricula. Courses that address these needs should include critical discussions of the domain in question and involve various types of community partnerships. Including these course elements can expand the course’s impact, lead to better project designs, and change perceptions of what is valuable in computing experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalComputer Science Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Disability
  • design
  • higher education
  • identity
  • making
  • physical computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education

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