Making Space in the Makerspace: Building a Mixed-Ability Maker Culture

This past weekend, I gave a 5 minute Ignite Talk at the Digital Media and Learning Conference in Chicago on the topic of "mixed-ability maker culture."

By mixed-ability maker culture, I mean a collaborative culture within which people with and without disabilities can co-exist and co-create as they work to maximize and develop their own skills.  This includes making useful things for people with disabilities, as well as getting people with disabilities involved in making.  A mixed-ability maker culture is one that embraces the differences not only between people who do and do not identify as having a disability, but also the wide range of differences that exist among people with disabilities.

I argue that novel directions for the so-called Maker Movement require new configurations of maker culture.  A mixed-ability maker culture is one committed to an equitable, ethical, and sustainable democratic future.  It requires us to look closer not only at the materiality of making, but also the social context that surrounds participation in and exclusion from maker culture.

Here's a link to my talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzyYqLNoLy0&feature=youtu.be

Meryl