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exoskel urban climber
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exoskel urban climber

The Exoskel Urban Climber caught my eye, via @bldgblog. It’s another story in military/defense gear that has all kinds of potential prosthetic applications—a strap-on set of shin guards that have 4 horizontal rows of big “teeth” across the front of the lower leg, allowing the user to grasp and brace against edges or rough surfaces. … Continue reading

beyond alt-text: the new “chief accessibility officer”
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beyond alt-text: the new “chief accessibility officer”

In the last 2 years, at least four big tech companies have created positions in accessible technology — a move that seems to signal a serious commitment to making products and services usable by people with all kinds of abilities and needs. AT&T named Christopher Rice as “Chief Accessibility Officer” in early 2013. Since then, others have … Continue reading

unintended consequences
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unintended consequences

  Poking around online for a good interview with Natalie Jeremijenko, I came across her unusual deployment of the term “unintended consequences,” which is so often associated with negative byproducts. As ever, Jeremijenko alerts us to opportunities: Jeremijenko: As a rule of thumb, we should think of technology as a profoundly conservative social source. By definition, it … Continue reading

guiding principles for an adaptive technology working group
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guiding principles for an adaptive technology working group

I’ve been thinking about the studio/lab/workshop environment I want to foster at Olin. So herewith a manifesto, or a set of guiding principles, for young engineers and designers working critically, reflexively, in technology design and disability. 1. We use the terms “adaptive” and “assistive” technologies interchangeably when speaking casually or with newcomers to this field, but we … Continue reading

the school for poetic computation: assistive tech, fall 2014
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the school for poetic computation: assistive tech, fall 2014

I’ve been following the work of the School for Poetic Computation, for some time now. What an irresistible name! And one of its founders, Jen Lowe, wrote this absolutely beautiful essay last fall about its origins and rationale: Experiments with computation are restricted by marketing demands, by defense support, by the pressures of grant funding. … Continue reading