Accessibility Seminar

Panel Discussion

We welcome a  panel of speakers to present on nonvisual soldering and engaging community members in making and research. Many design and fabrication activities, such as soldering, are often not accessible. For example, an instructor may assume that their student will use vision to read electronics schematics, to attach components to circuit boards, to heat and apply solder, and to evaluate their connections. Additionally, many researchers struggle to meaningfully connect and benefit the communities we seek to work with.

As such, we invited a panel with combined expertise in nonvisual making and instruction, HCI research, and lived experience as blind individuals, who facilitated a nonvisual soldering workshop with blind community members as part of ongoing research to increase the nonvisual accessibility of fabrication activities. Panelists will share how they built rapport across a nonvisual maker community and an academic research lab, and how their relationships have cultivated mutual respect and multiple skill building opportunities for blind people, including the soldering workshop about which specifics will also be discussed during the Accessibility Seminar.


⇒ Chancey Fleet is an Assistive Technology Coordinator at the New York Public Library and an Affiliate-in-Residence at Data & Society. She manages numerous projects to train and educate blind and ally community members in nonvisual accessibility. For example, the Dimensions project she oversees teaches nonvisual methods for creating and producing tactile and 3d media. You can read about this and other projects on her blog archive, in this feature article, and from this keynote speech transcript. Along with commentary on contemporary issues in accessibility research and development,  Chancey tweets invitations to numerous virtual accessibility workshops she co-facilitates

⇒ Josh Miele is a blind maker hobbyist, accessibility researcher professionally, and physicist by training. He has decades of experience tinkering, translating instructions into nonvisually accessible formats, and coalescing and teaching blind makers. He manages the Blind Arduino Blog and prior, he helped to bring The Technical File, a nonvisual-centered circuitry and making periodical online, which features many of the formative nonvisual making and electronics techniques Josh and others teach blind people today. Apart from the prereading and keynoting the 2017 Interaction Design and Children conference, Josh has contributed to numerous peer reviewed publications. You can also read a feature on his life here, and follow him on Twitter.

Lauren Race is an inclusive designer and accessibility researcher. She is a Fellow at New York University’s Ability Project, housed in the Interactive Telecommunications Program and Occupational Therapy department. She has published pages on accessibility tools for physical computing, including detailed documentation of the nonvisual soldering workshop panelists will overview during Accessibility Seminar. You can follow her on Twitter.

Recommended reading before session: Blind Eye for the Sighted Guy, Josh Miele

Zoom Participation. See announcement.

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