The Future of Accessible Technology

Accessible Technology (AT) has the potential to increase autonomy, and improve millions of people’s ability to live independently. This potential is currently under-realized because the expertise needed to create the right AT is in short supply and the custom nature of AT makes it difficult to deliver inexpensively. Yet computers’ flexibility and exponentially increasing power have revolutionized and democratized assistive technology. A series of courses has explored these trends.

Posts relating to Assistive Technology Teaching

Make your Webpage More Accessible

This is an individual project to make your webpage more accessible. Learning goals include Some of the basic rules for web accessibility How to use an accessibility checker to assess whether a web page is accessible How to fix accessibility problems How to work within the constraints of end-user content editing tools and still make … Continue reading Make your Webpage More Accessible

Final Project

The goal of your final project is to explore an accessibility issue in more depth than you’ve been able to do in our projects so far. In choosing this project, you may want to draw from personal expertise, literature, or user data should you have access to it. Your final project will have three phases: … Continue reading Final Project

3D printing on the Ultimaker

Cura is the software yo ushould use. It has built in slicing, runs on macs and windows, and has pre-configured options for all Ultimaker models in the add-a-printer dialogue (instructions for adding a printer). You will need to first export your model as an STL from OpenSCAD: First you render, not just preview, then you … Continue reading 3D printing on the Ultimaker

Use 3D printing to make something Accessible (Due 10/16)

The goal of this assignment is for you to develop basic familiarity with OpenSCAD. Your goal is to create a model of something that makes something more accessible for you or someone else. To keep this problem within reason for a first assignment, you should focus on things that are fairly simple to model. You … Continue reading Use 3D printing to make something Accessible (Due 10/16)

Setting up your BlueFruit

Setting up your bluefruit is fairly straightforward, but there are a couple of things you will need to do. They are (almost) all documented on the AdaFruit website BlueFruit page. Some things you will need to do: Install the Arduino software Open Preferences and put ‘’ in the Additional Boards Manager URL Open Tools>Board…>Board Manager … Continue reading Setting up your BlueFruit

Observation & Reflection (due by end of quarter)

Much of this quarter will likely be spent inventing and building accessibile technology, and you may not have time to also do the sort of participatory design project that would ideally ensure that your technology fully reflects your target user. This project is your opportunity to focus on learning rather than building, observing rather than … Continue reading Observation & Reflection (due by end of quarter)

Project 2: Build a Better Button

Learning Goals for the Project Learn about Circuit design Learn how to communicate between an Arduino and your phone Build a simple circuit that is enhanced by its connection to your phone Basic Requirements for Project Your project should demonstrate your ability to either: Take input from at least one button (or other sensor), and … Continue reading Project 2: Build a Better Button

Picture of a 3D printed arm with backscatter sensing technology attached to it.

The Future of Access Technologies

Sieg 322, M/W 9-10:20 How can physical computing enable new solutions to accessibility, including both access to the world and access to computers? Similarly, how can a disability studies perspective guide us in developing empowering and relevant solutions to accessibility problems? This course explores both of those questions through a combination of discussions, reading, and … Continue reading The Future of Access Technologies

Assistive Technology

Instructor: Jennifer Mankoff, Spring 2005 HCII, 3601 NSH, (W)+1 (412) 268-1295 Office hours: By Appointment & 1-2pm Thurs Course Description This class will focus on computer accessibility, including web and desktop computing, and research in the area of assistive technology. The major learning goals from this course include: Develop an understanding of the relationship between disability … Continue reading Assistive Technology

Accessibility Seminar

The Accessibility Seminar (CSE 590W) is taught most quarters. This fall (2018), it will be taught at 2:30 on Wednesdays. The focus will be at the intersection of fabrication and assistive technology. Past years in which I was involved Autumn 2017 — Focus on hearing technologies Winter 2018 — Focus on student presentations

Rapid Fabrication / Prototyping

Required Readings (videos for these and others found below) Mueller, S., Im, S., Gurevich, S., Teibrich, A., Pfisterer, L., Guimbretière, F., & Baudisch, P. (2014, October). WirePrint: 3D printed previews for fast prototyping. In Proceedings of the 27th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (pp. 273-280). ACM. Interactive design space exploration and … Continue reading Rapid Fabrication / Prototyping


Pick one to read (or read both!) Ion, A., Frohnhofen, J., Wall, L., Kovacs, R., Alistar, M., Lindsay, J., … & Baudisch, P. (2016, October). Metamaterial mechanisms. In Proceedings of the 29th Annual Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (pp. 529-539). ACM. Ion, A., Wall, L., Kovacs, R., & Baudisch, P. (2017, May). Digital … Continue reading Metamaterials

3D Printing for Social Good Final Project

The goal of the final project assignment is to give you an opportunity both to become comfortable using a 3D printer and to think about novel research that can be done with the printer and begin defining and executing on such a problem. It is very open ended, and there is no single ‘right’ answer … Continue reading 3D Printing for Social Good Final Project

3D Printing in a Range of Materials

Required Soft Objects: Printing Teddy Bears: A Technique for 3D Printing of Soft Interactive Objects (ACM CHI 2014), Scott E. Hudson  Carbon Fiber at scale: (watch through about 2:30, and then from about 5:15 onward. 6:30 explains the process) Food: (just watch the videos) Inflatables:  Printflatables: Printing Human-Scale, Functional and Dynamic Inflatable Objects (ACM CHI 2017) Harpreet … Continue reading 3D Printing in a Range of Materials

3D Printing for Health

Basic Research: 3D structure and response of bacterial communities to antibiotics: Connell, Jodi L., Eric T. Ritschdorff, Marvin Whiteley, and Jason B. Shear. “3D printing of microscopic bacterial communities.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110, no. 46 (2013): 18380-18385. Adam Feinberg — 3D Printing in Gel: Applications Drug Delivery: Goole, Jonathan, and Karim Amighi. … Continue reading 3D Printing for Health

3D Printing and Sustainability

Sustainability of 3D printing Chonga, Siewhui, Hsien-Lung Chiub, Ying-Chih Liaob, Shuo-Ting Hungc, and Guan-Ting Pand. “Cradle to Cradle® design for 3D printing.” CHEMICAL ENGINEERING 45 (2015). Van Wijk, A. J. M., and Iris van Wijk. 3D Printing with biomaterials: Towards a sustainable and circular economy. IOS press, 2015. Uses of 3D printing in achieving a sustainable world Ford, … Continue reading 3D Printing and Sustainability

3D Printing for Education

An article blurring 3DP, education, and social good: Loy, Jennifer. “eLearning and eMaking: 3D Printing Blurring the Digital and the Physical.” Education Sciences 4, no. 1 (2014): 108-121. Irwin, J. L., D. E. Oppliger, J. M. Pearce, and G. Anzalone. “Evaluation of RepRap 3D Printer Workshops in K-12 STEM. 122nd ASEE 122nd ASEE Conf.” Proceedings, paper ID 12036 (2015). … Continue reading 3D Printing for Education

3D Printing of Interactive Objects

Tentative Readings: Computational design of telescoping structures (ACM SIGGRAPH 2017)] A computational design tool for compliant mechanisms (ACM SIGGRAPH 2017) ] Interactive Design and Stability Analysis of Decorative Joinery for Furniture (ACM SIGGRAPH 2017) ]

Observe a Maker

Find someone in (or out of) the class who has to repair or create something. Ask them if you can watch them work on it. Ask them if you can video and/or take photos + audio record them. Before you watch them, write down your thoughts about how they will do this (like a recipe … Continue reading Observe a Maker

Build a 3D Printer

Learning Objectives: – Practice assembling a moderately complex electromechanical device – Learn the details of how your printer operates Build a 3D printer from a kit. For this assignment you are being asked to demonstrate the basic operation of your machine by doing the following: Moving each axis (x, y and z) independently Homing (all … Continue reading Build a 3D Printer

Case Study: 3D Printing in the Developing World

Readings: Forbes article on 3D printing competition and Chapter 4 of Birtchnell, Thomas and William Hoyle. 3D Printing for Development in the Global South: The 3D4D Challenge., p. 67-79 (optional: skim Chapters 1-5 of the same book to get a deeper picture of the challenges and opportunities here). WALDMAN-BROWN, A. N. N. A., JULIET WANYIRI, SIMEON … Continue reading Case Study: 3D Printing in the Developing World

Qualitative Research Quick Intro

Readings: Qualitative Research Design  and 3.1.1 Running an Interview (just two pages in Contextual Design: evolved, Synthesis Lectures on Human Computer Interaction). Micro-assignment: Contextual interviewing of someone fixing something