At NextFab, an accessibility hackathon yields bold ideas

From an illumination system for wheelchairs to a robotic sandwich-feeder, here are some of the ideas from a hackathon organized by NextFab and nursing care facility Inglis House.

Making things at NextFab.

(Courtesy photo)

Get a group of 70 Philly makers and designers together in a room, give them the prompt of creating accessibility tools and they’ll sketch and 3D-print until they have something to showcase.

That’s what happened on Saturday at NextFab’s Washington Avenue spot, where an Accessibility Hackathon — organized in tandem with nursing care facility Inglis House — yielded 10 concepts of tools that aim to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities.

“Many complex problems were potentially solved in a single building, in a single day,” said in NextFab’s director of membership services, Marcella Barker, in a Facebook post. “I was left speechless during the final presentations by the incredible combination of ingenuity, talent, and human consideration shown.”

From robotic sandwich-feeders to wheelchair enhancements, and from ultrasonic sensors to catheter tubing clip systems, the projects looked to provide technological answers to some of the most frequent issues faced by residents and caregivers from the Inglis community, mostly made up of wheelchair users who leverage technology and the nonprofit’s slate of services to lead independent lives.


Read the full list of projects over at Generocity.

And, while you’re at it, read these pieces on accessibility.

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