Evaluating Accessibility in Fabrication Tools for Children

IDC 2013 Workshop, June 24-27, 2013,  New York, NY


Young girl sitting at table with soldering iron. She is wearing safety goggles. A young woman is standing behind her for assistance.

Young man with cerebral palsy using a 3D modeling program on a laptop. seated at a table.


This half-day workshop at IDC 2013 will be held on June 24th, 2013 at the Sesame Workshop (1 Lincoln Plaza) or The New School (66 West 12th St Lobby and Courtyard). We will update this page with the correct location as soon as we know it.

This  workshop will examine, through the lens of accessibility, the current tools, upcoming research, and best practices regarding fabrication activities with children. From 3D printing and laser cutters down to wire strippers and needle and thread, our goal is to produce a framework of inclusive principles that can guide future work in the area of interaction design for children with disabilities.

We welcome position papers relating to: accessibility, disability (either developmental or physical), new tools or novel uses of existing tools for fabrication (especially as they relate to accessibility), and pedagogy on accessibility inside and outside the classroom. 

Possible topics include:

  • An Overview and Evaluation of Relevant Tools
  • New/ Upcoming Research
  • Design Principles
  • Best Practices
  • Teaching Tactics (inside and outside the classroom)
  • Use Cases / User Studies / War Stories
  • Hacking for Accessibility

Position papers should be in ACM SIG Proceedings Format, must not exceed four pages, and should be emailed as a PDF file to idc.workshop.2013@gmail.com.

Important Dates:

  • March 18, 2013: Position papers from participants due
  • April 19, 2013: Position paper acceptance notification to participants


Note: At least one author of each accepted position paper must attend the workshop and all participants must register for the workshop and for the conference.



Ben Leduc-Mills is currently a doctoral student in computer science at the University of Colorado, Boulder working under Dr. Michael Eisenberg in the Craft Technology Lab. Ben’s primary research is on tangible, child-friendly tools for fabrication, especially 3D printing. He also works as an educator and engineer at SparkFun Electronics, developing curricula, classes, and products to advance hands-on electronics education.

Jaymes Dec is the Technology Integrator and Fab Lab Administrator at the Marymount School of New York. Previously, Jaymes was Program Manager at GreenFab, a high school program for students from the South Bronx that taught Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills through classes on sustainable design and green technologies.

John Schimmel is a co-founder of DIYAbility, an organization in New York City getting people with disabilities, their family and health care providers excited about Making and tinkering with technology to create a more accessible world. John is an adjunct professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program where he teaches programming and assistive technology design.