Is the Maker Movement Inclusive of ANYONE?: Three Accessibility Considerations to Invite Blind Makers to the Making World

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The issue this paper addresses is the lack of attention to inclusivity of people with visual impairments in the maker movement. To capture major challenges which blind makers are faced with in makerspaces and to learn how to pursue a more accessible making ecology, three online communities for blind makers (The Blind Arduino Blog; Raspberry VI; and Blind Electronics) have been qualitatively explored based on the autoethnographic approach. As a result, three imperative challenges that need attention in designing inclusive maker tools have been highlighted: (1) inaccessible/undocumented instructions for maker toolkits; (2) a less tangible design of making board; and (3) a lack of multi-sensory modules. Three corresponding practical recommendations drawing from the blind makers’ know-hows along with author's personal experience as a blind maker, are suggested. This paper contributes to improving the current awareness of accessibility aspects of the maker movement to invite another marginalized group into its discourse.

In TechTrends
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JooYoung Seo
JooYoung Seo
Ph.D. in Learning, Design, and Technology

My research topics include STEM education, computational thinking and accessible makerspaces.