Karen Nakamura, Professor

Closed (1) UC Berkeley Disability Lab Projects

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

The Berkeley Disability Lab has been working on several projects involving disability, technology, art, and access in the Bay Area. We welcome students from all fields of the university (arts, engineering, music, architecture, CS, design, linguistics, social sciences, etc.) and people with personal experience of disability or exclusion are particularly welcome. You will be working in teams.

Team projects that may be running in 2021-2022:
* Leonardo CripTech facilitation - working with the professor and postdoc or artist on a project related to art, technology, and disability
* Sensable Computing - the creation of an integrated development environment (IDE) that does not use a screen/keyboard/mouse for teaching early learners coding and robotics
* Radical Mapping - creating of a mapping and navigation tool that embodies the knowledge and ways of moving of disabled students
* Sensory Inclusion - creation of tools that map the sensorial environment (light/noise/volatile chemicals) in order to create more inclusive spaces for people with light/sound/chemical sensitivities
* ABetterLoop - creation of an autonomous LOOP system for campus
* And others as suggested by team members

While we welcome people coming in with existing technical skills as well as all forms lived experience, we will also be training you in disability culture, disability experience, and technical skills. A willingness to experience different worlds is required.


Coming up with the technologies will require

1. Background research and reading
2. Research specific user needs
3. Design monitoring, evaluation, adaptation tech
4. Field test the adaptations / monitoring with user feedback
5. Writing up the design in a way that can be shared and hacked by the disability community
5. Iterate design

Students will learn how to conduct research into adaptive technology and design. They will learn how to conduct field interviews and run field tests and how to iterate feedback into the design process.


Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Nathan Tilton, Graduate Student

Qualifications: Students with lived experience with disabilities, neurodiversity, or environmental sensitivity are particularly invited to apply. Background experience with standard makerspace tools (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, 3D design tools, CNC, 3D printing, videography and editing, etc.) would be a plus but can also be learned through this lab. Required: Students must be available for the weekly all-lab meeting and lunch every Friday from 12-2p. This is in addition to your own project team scrum meetings, which you can decide with your teammates and the lab manager. We ask that members dedicate 6-8 a week to the URAP (3hrs for meetings; 3-5 for specific project work). Required: Students will need to agree with both a lab code of conduct agreement as well as lab equipment safety requirements and trainings.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Related website: https://disabilitylab.berkeley.edu/
Related website: http://disability.jp/nakamura