The Berkeley Disability Lab was formed as a nexus for disability research, media, and design in the Bay Area. It combines the functions of a purposefully-accessible and cross-disability inclusive makerspace, reseach lab, and teaching space.

One of the mantras of the Maker Movement is that, “if you can’t repair it or hack it, you don’t own it.” Disabled people are often actively prevented from repairing, hacking, or extending the access devices that they’re given. And yet there is also a thriving making/crafting/hacking movement in the disability community that is actively thinking around technology, disability, and design.

As part of bringing me to campus, Berkeley made a commitment to building me a lab in central campus focused on disability, access, and design. My intention is that this will serve as a nexus for disability studies on campus, help bring the Bay Area disability community into dialogue with campus, and help promote the next generation of disabled researchers, social scientists, makers, scientists, designers, and engineers.

Disaster and Emergency Planning

The lab is working on producing information as well as workshops specifically targeted at the disability community to better help them prepare for natural disaster and regional emergencies, such as wildfire, public safety power shut-offs, earthquakes.

Info sheets (now properly linked):
  • Small gas generators (PDF, RTF, TXT)
  • Lithium-Ion Battery Packs for use by CPAPs and other small devices (PDF, RTF, TXT)
  • Heating your home when the power is out (PDF, RTF, TXT)
  • Charging your power chair or scooter when the power is out (PDF, RTF, TXT)

Youtube short videos on disaster / emergency planning
  • [tba]
  • [tba]

We welcome suggestions for additional material needed by the community.

Student Projects

Currently the Undergraduate Research (URAP) students are working on the following projects:
  • Sensible Computing (an offshoot of the Blind Arduino Tutorial Project that SCoPI Sabrina Lee headed 2018-2019 with PI Dr. Joshua Miele, then at Smith-Kettlewell).
  • Accessible Gaming

More information to follow.

SCoPI = Student Co-Principal Investigator)