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Primary supervisor

Swamy Ananthanarayan


This project examines how we can support special education teachers (e.g., specialists who support/teach individuals or groups with disabilities) in implementing and adopting their own maker technology projects. How do we empower them to address their problems independently of researchers even after the study is over?

Student cohort

Single Semester
Double Semester


  • The project will first involve examining what others have done to support special ed. teachers in developing and adopting maker technology. This could be 3D printing, toolkits or small devices.
  • Then it will explore how to extend, modify or develop these technologies in a manner that allows them to be worked on independently. This may include:
    • Toolkit changes to more affordable or accessible options
    • New processes and support material
    • Minor hardware changes
    • Design guidelines for how technology should be designed to support independent use by this population


Stangl, A., Hsu, C.-L., & Yeh, T. (2015). Transcribing Across the Senses: Community Efforts to Create 3D Printable Accessible Tactile Pictures for Young Children with Visual Impairments. Paper presented at the SIGACCESS Conference on Computers & Accessibility, Lisbon, Portugal.

Güldenpfennig, F., Fikar, P., & Ganhör, R. (2020). Teaching Digital Fabrication to Early Intervention Specialists for Designing Their Own Tools. Paper presented at the ASSETS, Virtual Event, Greece.


Required knowledge

No explicit knowledge is required, however it is strongly expected that the candidate will have:

  • Experience with the use of emerging "maker" technologies such as 3D printing and electronics, or similar technology
  • Hardware tinkering capability
  • Be willing to work and conduct evaluations with special education staff