• Jan. 29 - Introduction to Accessible Making
  • Introduction to class. Why do we need accessible making? Starting in 1952 at Henry Viscardi's Long Island company to present day use of assistive technology and the momentum of the Maker movement.

  • Feb. 5 - Maker Movement, STE(A)M(S) & DIY
  • We're all makers, it's how we leave our mark on the world. What is the importance of making for a student or an adult with or without a disability? Also, let's talk about the human hand.

  • Feb. 12 - Abilities and society
  • The human as a system of nerves and muscles. We'll discuss physical, sensory, mental, age related disabilities and how the idea of disability is as much a product of society than the illness or injury.

  • Feb. 19 - Assistive technology as world openers
  • Low tech, high tech, DIY or store bought devices & software that enable a person to perform a all technology assistive technology?

  • Feb. 26 - Hackers, Jigs & Accessibility
  • Finding and evaluating a problem, the process of jig, tool and accessifying.

  • Mar. 5 - In Class Makerspace
  • Show-n-tell...

  • Mar. 12 - Midterm Presentations
  • Midterm presentations

  • Mar. 26 - Programming & Electronics
  • As the world becomes an API, programmers with disabilities will be in control.

  • Apr. 2 - More on programming & electronics
  • More on programming and electronics for people with disabilities

  • Apr. 9 - Makerspaces & Maker Economies
  • Conversations with Makers, STEM educators, Makerspaces and DIY shops - reasons and options for increasing accessibility.

  • Apr. 16 - Accessible Kits
  • Evaluating accessibility of online & in stores available kits for experiments and learning.

  • Apr. 23 - In class Makerspace
  • In class Makerspace - final projects should be decided at this point.

  • Apr. 30 - In class testing
  • In class we'll test each other's projects, provide feedback and discuss options for final presentations and beyond!

  • May 7 - Final Presentation
  • Final class.


  • with John Schimmel email:
  • Meeting at NYU Poly MAGNET Department
  • Wednesday 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Class Description

The Maker movement and the rise of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) in education have reignited the interest of hands-on-learning, tinkering and making. People with disabilities can directly benefit from participating in STEM activities at school, home and use these skills to find their passion and possibly a career. Currently, few options are available to make STEM accessible, how will a teenager with cerebral palsy use an Arduino if they can not use their hands? Can a student with visual impairments design a 3D model to be printed if they can not see the software? How can the Maker movement include the disability community? This course will explore how the disability community can become active participants and become Makers through the use of accessible tools and methods. We will discuss the current state of assistive technology for people with disabilities and how it overlaps with the Maker movement. We will design and build accessible tools for STEM activities for classroom and home use. The ideal outcome of this course is to support the integration of the disability and Maker communities through identifying challenges and proposing accessible tools & ideas that allow accessible making.


We are an experiment. We're here to think about today and what tomorrow should be and who should be an active participant. As a student you will be expected to experiment and try, even if you fail. And if you fail, try again and again. Students are expected to observe, question, think, work or which ever order is best for the problem.


  • Participation : 20%
  • Assignments : 20%
  • Midterm : 30%
  • Final project : 30%

Class guidelines

  • Students must attend all classes and arrive on time to the start of class and any office hour appointments.
  • Respect your fellow students' questions and comments.
  • Be 'here'. Participate in class.
  • Assignments are given for each class to practice and try out recent topics. All assignments are required and must be completed.
  • Stay in touch - please email me if you need to miss class or need extra help.
  • No computer usage in class that is not relevant to the current topic.
  • No computer usage when fellow students or guests are presenting.