Do-It-Yourself Empowerment as Experienced by Novice Makers with Disabilities

Janis Meissner, John Vines, Janice McLaughlin, Thomas Nappey, Jekaterina Maksimova, Peter Wright

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Recent HCI research has highlighted the potential afforded by maker technologies for supporting new forms of DIY Assistive Technology (DIY-AT) for people with disabilities. Furthermore, the popular discourse surrounding both the maker movement and disability is one of democratisation and empowerment. Despite this, critics argue that maker movement membership lacks diversity and that within DIY-AT, it is seldom the people with disabilities who are creating such designs. We conducted a qualitative study that explored how people with disabilities experience the empowering potential of making. We analysed online videos by makers with disabilities and conducted fieldwork at two makerspaces. These informed the design of DIY-Abilities, a series of workshops for people with disabilities in which participants could learn different maker technologies and complete their own maker project. Through analysis of participants’ narratives we contribute a new perspective on the specific social and material capacities of accessible maker initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2017
EventDIS 2017 - Designing Interactive Systems - Edinburgh, UK
Duration: 10 Jun 2017 → …


ConferenceDIS 2017 - Designing Interactive Systems
Period10/06/17 → …


Dive into the research topics of 'Do-It-Yourself Empowerment as Experienced by Novice Makers with Disabilities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this