What if, as the computing revolution was taking off in the 1980s, there had been a concerted effort to get disabled people involved? By the 1990s and 2000s the disabled community would likely have seen significant benefits from this effort. So if we are on the cusp of a revolution in digital fabrication, can we do the same thing now?
In the Making is an AHRC Connected Communities project being run jointly by Disability Rights UK, the University of Salford and the University of Dundee. We are exploring the potential for disabled people to make use of digital fabrication technologies and makerspace and barriers that need to be overcome to achieve this.
In the first phase of the project, we have surveyed makerspaces across the country to learn about existing practices and identify potential benefits and challenges. Based on our findings, we are now organising a series of workshops to explore digital fabrication with disabled people, beginning with a launch event at MediaCityUK in July and continuing through six workshops in Salford communities between September and November.
The project will conclude in 2016 with an exhibition and a conference bringing together interested parties to share what we’ve learned.