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Many engineering departments, libraries, and universities are launching new initiatives to create makerspaces, physical spaces where students, faculty, and the broader community can gather and share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build. In creating these innovative spaces we should apply principles of universal design to ensure the spaces, tools, and community are accessible to as many individuals as possible.
Universal design encourages the design of space, products, and processes not just for the average user, but for people with a broad range of abilities, ages, reading levels, learning styles, languages, cultures, and other characteristics. Makerspaces foster innovation, and we want to ensure that individuals of all backgrounds and abilities can actively contribute to the design process. We advocate for participatory design where individuals from diverse backgrounds bring their unique experiences and perspectives to the design process. This document outlines guidelines, questions, and best practices to consider in creating, retrofitting, or maintaining makerspaces.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.