Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/exhibitions/1141959921/

Access+Ability

We are experiencing a surge of design with and by people who span a wide range of physical, cognitive, and sensory abilities. Fueled by advances in research and technology, the proliferation of functional, life-enhancing products is creating unprecedented access in homes, schools, workplaces, and in the world at large. The significant improvements have been motivated by several factors: the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990—amended in 2008—prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities, increased advocacy demanding greater accessibility and inclusivity, a worldwide aging population, and unprecedented communication possibilities due to digital technologies. Designers have responded to these technical and social changes with multidisciplinary creative approaches that are both user-centered and inclusive. When the design process encompasses individuals with diverse abilities and background, the shortcomings of existing products and environments often become the catalyst for design breakthroughs. The objects and experiences featured in this exhibition were selected based on input from users first and foremost, as well as designers, caregivers, activists, researchers, occupational therapists, neuroscientists, and others whose knowledge is inspiring opportunities for design to flourish. Most of the works are in production, but some are prototypes that point to future directions in this rapidly advancing realm of design. Many of the best solutions have and will continue to come from the ingenuity of people who develop, adapt, and customize designs to fit their specific challenges, needs, and aesthetics.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794965/

  • Public domain
  • digital
  • DIY
  • sign
  • universal
  • blue
  • white
  • icon
  • symbol
  • accessability
  • dynamic

The International Symbol of Access logo, first designed in 1969 by Susanne Koefoed, featured a person sitting upright in a wheelchair. This recent iteration that depicts a person in forward motion, propelling through space, offers a more accurate representation of people in wheelchairs as dynamic rather than static bodies. The new logo is open source and available in a multitude of sizes and formats.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18731075/

  • Designed by Stuart Karten Design
  • injection-molded nylon, chromed metal, high-gloss metallic paint
  • Gift of Starkey Laboratories, Inc.
  • personal
  • metallic
  • personal adornment
  • curved
  • tool
  • technology
  • health-care
  • prosthetic
  • medical
  • hearing aids
  • sound
  • listening
  • observation
  • chrome
  • deaf
  • hearing loss
  • hard of hearing

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1126115493/

  • Designed by IIT Delhi
  • plastic
  • Gift of Assistech, I.I.T. Delhi
  • motion
  • collapsible
  • symbols
  • tubular
  • mobility
  • navigation
  • blind
  • vision
  • icons
  • cane
  • white
  • guidance
  • vibrating
  • ultrasonic
  • sensor
  • aid
  • low vision

SmartCane was designed to address the needs of people in the developing world with vision loss. A significant feature is that it can detect obstructions between a person’s knee and chest up to three meters away. Sensors emit and receive ultrasonic waves that trigger haptic vibrations when a physical hazard is detected, using various patterns to differentiate obstacles and distances.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1126115499/

  • Designed by IIT Delhi
  • plastic
  • collapsible
  • tubular
  • folded
  • mobility
  • compact
  • blind
  • vision
  • safety
  • cane
  • white
  • guidance
  • aid
  • low vision

SmartCane was designed to address the needs of people in the developing world with vision loss. A significant feature is that it can detect obstructions between a person’s knee and chest up to three meters away. Sensors emit and receive ultrasonic waves that trigger haptic vibrations when a physical hazard is detected, using various patterns to differentiate obstacles and distances.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794661/

  • Designed by Superflex
  • engineered fabric, motors, batteries, control boards
  • Lent by fuseproject
  • suits
  • mobility
  • support
  • hexagon
  • accessory
  • wearable
  • aging
  • gray
  • teal
  • undergarment
  • light gray
  • one piece
  • strenghtening
  • cellular

The Aura Power Suit is an undergarment designed to assist people with mobility. Anatomically configured to align with the muscular composition of each wearer, the hexagonal pods form a wearable network of smart technology that adds strength to muscles and joints. The final design will integrate all the electric piece that is comfortable, stylish, easy to clean and put on, and high-performing.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794665/

  • Designed by Emilios Farrington-Arnas
  • polycarbonate, internal electronics, braided cord
  • jewelry
  • mobility
  • navigation
  • cord
  • blind
  • vision
  • cylindrical
  • wearable
  • necklace
  • white
  • teal
  • guidance
  • vibrating
  • beige
  • GPS
  • low vision

Maptic is a wearable navigation system for people who are blind. Like jewelry, the collection of devices can be worn like a necklace combined with feedback units clipped onto clothing, or worn around the wrist. Connected to a voice-controlled iPhone app and GPS, haptic vibrations not only guide the wearer, but are able to track obstacles above the knee.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794669/

  • Designed by Emilios Farrington-Arnas
  • polycarbonate, internal electronics, braided cord
  • jewelry
  • mobility
  • triangular
  • navigation
  • blind
  • wearable
  • white
  • bracelet
  • teal
  • guidance
  • vibrating
  • beige
  • GPS
  • low vision

Maptic is a wearable navigation system for people who are blind. Like jewelry, the collection of devices can be worn like a necklace combined with feedback units clipped onto clothing, or worn around the wrist. Connected to a voice-controlled iPhone app and GPS, haptic vibrations not only guide the wearer, but are able to track obstacles above the knee.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794673/

  • Designed by Emilios Farrington-Arnas
  • polycarbonate, internal electronics, braided cord
  • jewelry
  • mobility
  • navigation
  • cord
  • blind
  • wearable
  • white
  • bracelet
  • teal
  • guidance
  • vibrating
  • beige
  • rectangluar
  • GPS
  • low vision

Maptic is a wearable navigation system for people who are blind. Like jewelry, the collection of devices can be worn like a necklace combined with feedback units clipped onto clothing, or worn around the wrist. Connected to a voice-controlled iPhone app and GPS, haptic vibrations not only guide the wearer, but are able to track obstacles above the knee.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794681/

  • Designed by Designworks, a BMW Company
  • Manufactured by Designworks, a BMW Company
  • asa (a 3d-printing material)
  • Lent by Designworks
  • protection
  • pair
  • hands
  • athletes
  • accessory
  • wearable
  • black
  • customizable
  • 3-D printed
  • sport

BMW Designworks describes these racing gloves as a cross between “a pistol grip and brass knuckles.” The designers innovated on the athletes’ process of creating their own gloves from hobby putty by 3D scanning individual versions and then refining the shapes. Each pair is custom fit and printed on demand in lightweight and durable materials. Athletes then glue rubber to the gloves for traction on the wheel pushrings.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794687/

  • Designed by Wicab Inc.
  • polycarbonate plastic, cables
  • Lent by Wicab, Inc., Middleton, WI
  • blind
  • wearable
  • black
  • assistive device
  • vibrating
  • headset
  • foam
  • mouthpiece
  • low vision
  • haptic

BrainPort is based on the proposition that one sees with the brain, not with the eyes. Embedded in the headset is a camera, a surrogate “eye,” that translates the shapes of things in the physical world into vibrations that can be felt through a device placed on the user’s tongue. With practice, one can learn to interpret the vibrating patterns and actually start to see.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794689/

  • Designed by Designworks, a BMW Company
  • Manufactured by Designworks, a BMW Company
  • carbon fiber, aluminum, titanium, 3d-printed parts
  • Lent by Designworks
  • red
  • mobility
  • compact
  • sleek
  • athletes
  • speed
  • black
  • aerodynamic
  • white
  • three wheel
  • sport

Collaborating with Paralympic athletes, BMW Designworks improved aerodynamics and ergonomics in their racing wheelchairs. Everything from the cockpit to the steering arm was customized using 3D scans and body measurements. BMW Designworks created this racer that can reach more than 20 miles per hour. Tatyana McFadden and Chelsea McClammer won gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the 2016 Summer Paralympics using this design.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794693/

  • Designed by Ryan Genz
  • stretch microfiber fabric with laser-cut decoration and embedded with 16 mico-actuators
  • Lent by CuteCircuit
  • clothing
  • sensors
  • blue
  • wearable
  • vibrating
  • deaf
  • tactile
  • hearing loss
  • hard of hearing
  • haptic

SoundShirt translates the experience of listening to music for the deaf and hard of hearing into a physical and sensory experience that is felt on the skin. By embedding 16 sensors corresponding to each part of the orchestra—violin, cello, drums, etc.—into the fabric of a specially designed shirt, music is felt as an immersive experience of tactile sensations. SoundShirt is available at the Junge Symphoniker Hamburg, Germany.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794699/

  • Designed by Ryan Genz
  • stretch microfiber fabric with laser-cut decoration and embedded with 16 mico-actuators
  • Lent by CuteCircuit
  • clothing
  • sensors
  • wearable
  • gray
  • deaf
  • tactile
  • hearing loss
  • hard of hearing
  • haptic

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794701/

  • ink on paper
  • Gift of PUSH
  • graphic design
  • book
  • yellow
  • black
  • dyslexia
  • font
  • jumbled
  • experience

This “instructional” book was designed to help people visualize some of the challenges of reading experienced by individuals with dyslexia. It includes insightful information about language, type, and how we see. By showing a few different typographic experiments, it helps convey what it feels like to have difficulties reading.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794709/

  • plastic, metal, electronic tablet, fabric, paper
  • Lent by IDEO
  • furniture
  • electronic
  • curvilinear
  • desk
  • voting
  • democracy
  • multi-lingual
  • tablet
  • low vision
  • IDEO

Designed for Los Angeles County as a modular system that can adapt over time, this voting booth exemplifies inclusive design, ensuring every citizen access to an intuitive and accessible voting experience. It addresses all voters, including those unfamiliar with technology and who speak languages other than English, voters with vision and hearing loss, in wheelchairs, and with learning disabilities.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794921/

  • Designed by Michael Graves
  • aluminum, polypropylene, tpe, tpu
  • Gift of Michael Graves Design Group
  • walking
  • coral
  • mobility
  • support
  • matte
  • interchangeable
  • cane

Canes are increasingly fashionable, personalized, and more functional.In addition to bright colors, these innovative walking aids offer options such as self-standing, easy retrieval, non-slip leaning, and mix-and-match handles and tips for ultimate customization. Silicone handles enable propping up against surfaces without sliding and falling. A pendulum effect “swings” the IQ Stick when walking, and a toe tap on the wide tip of some canes makes for a self-righting walking stick. Glow-in-the-dark handles turn traditional canes into fun and functional mobility aids. These canes are part of a walking stick system that addresses important functional criteria: self-standing, hands-free carrying, storage, easy retrieval, and non-slip leaning. They are designed as a kit of parts that allows the user to mix and match the various components—handles, colors, and tips—giving the user more options and confidence.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794925/

  • Designed by Michael Graves
  • Manufactured by Moen Inc.
  • polypropylene, tpe, aluminum, synthetic fibers
  • Gift of Michael Graves Design Group
  • green
  • motion
  • flexible
  • handle
  • extension
  • interchangeable
  • blue
  • yellow
  • white
  • textured
  • bathroom accessory
  • sponge
  • reach

When we experience an injury, or as we age, our range of motion can decrease, making rigid bathing wands difficult to use. This flexible, bendable bathing wand facilitates the cleaning of hard to reach places. Its interchangeable heads come in three materials and textures and can be removed for handheld use without the wand.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794927/

  • Designed by Michael Graves
  • Manufactured by Moen Inc.
  • stainless steel, polypropylene
  • Gift of Moen Inc.
  • square
  • storage
  • wall hanging
  • steel
  • support
  • shelf
  • stability
  • bathroom accessory
  • ledge

Clunky grab bars are often afterthoughts installed for safety. When redesigned as an elegant square frame, the Shower Trellis Grab Bar serves diverse needs and generations: multiple touch points to prevent slipping by both adults and small children, a footrest for shaving legs, a shelf for shampoo and soap, and a place to hang a brush.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794929/

  • Designed by Michael Graves
  • aluminum, polypropylene, tpe, tpu
  • Gift of Michael Graves Design Group
  • walking
  • mobility
  • support
  • matte
  • interchangeable
  • cane
  • teal

Canes are increasingly fashionable, personalized, and more functional.In addition to bright colors, these innovative walking aids offer options such as self-standing, easy retrieval, non-slip leaning, and mix-and-match handles and tips for ultimate customization. Silicone handles enable propping up against surfaces without sliding and falling. A pendulum effect “swings” the IQ Stick when walking, and a toe tap on the wide tip of some canes makes for a self-righting walking stick. Glow-in-the-dark handles turn traditional canes into fun and functional mobility aids. These canes are part of a walking stick system that addresses important functional criteria: self-standing, hands-free carrying, storage, easy retrieval, and non-slip leaning. They are designed as a kit of parts that allows the user to mix and match the various components—handles, colors, and tips—giving the user more options and confidence.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794935/

  • Designed by Michael Graves
  • aluminum, polypropylene, tpe, tpu
  • Gift of Michael Graves Design Group

Canes are increasingly fashionable, personalized, and more functional.In addition to bright colors, these innovative walking aids offer options such as self-standing, easy retrieval, non-slip leaning, and mix-and-match handles and tips for ultimate customization. Silicone handles enable propping up against surfaces without sliding and falling. A pendulum effect “swings” the IQ Stick when walking, and a toe tap on the wide tip of some canes makes for a self-righting walking stick. Glow-in-the-dark handles turn traditional canes into fun and functional mobility aids. These canes are part of a walking stick system that addresses important functional criteria: self-standing, hands-free carrying, storage, easy retrieval, and non-slip leaning. They are designed as a kit of parts that allows the user to mix and match the various components—handles, colors, and tips—giving the user more options and confidence.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794939/

  • Designed by Michael Graves
  • aluminum, polypropylene, tpe, tpu
  • Gift of Michael Graves Design Group
  • walking
  • mobility
  • support
  • matte
  • interchangeable
  • cane
  • purple

Canes are increasingly fashionable, personalized, and more functional.In addition to bright colors, these innovative walking aids offer options such as self-standing, easy retrieval, non-slip leaning, and mix-and-match handles and tips for ultimate customization. Silicone handles enable propping up against surfaces without sliding and falling. A pendulum effect “swings” the IQ Stick when walking, and a toe tap on the wide tip of some canes makes for a self-righting walking stick. Glow-in-the-dark handles turn traditional canes into fun and functional mobility aids. These canes are part of a walking stick system that addresses important functional criteria: self-standing, hands-free carrying, storage, easy retrieval, and non-slip leaning. They are designed as a kit of parts that allows the user to mix and match the various components—handles, colors, and tips—giving the user more options and confidence.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794941/

  • Designed by Michael Graves
  • aluminum, polypropylene, tpe, tpu
  • curved
  • mobility
  • handle
  • support
  • matte
  • interchangeable
  • cane
  • grip
  • stability

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794947/

  • Manufactured by Merits
  • steel, wood
  • Purchased by the museum for the exhibition
  • transportation
  • mobility
  • navigation
  • wheels
  • innovation
  • assistive device
  • wheelchair
  • three wheel
  • stability
  • off roading

This wheelchair navigates rough, unpaved, and uneven terrain, specifically in the developing world where the ground may be mud or sand. The three rather than four wheels provide extra stability when pushing, propelling, and even tipping around obstacles. Motivation’s distribution system partners with local organizations, including Peer Group Training, to assess, prescribe, and fit people in their wheelchairs, and provides support on how to be more active and independent.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794959/

  • Designed by Hilton Beck
  • carbon fiber, aluminum, rubber, acetyl, polypropylene, nylon, luminous pigment, steel, adhesives
  • Gift of Dr. Hilton Beck (MB Bch M.Med FRACGP)
  • reflective
  • mobility
  • luminous
  • handle
  • support
  • cane
  • stability
  • free standing
  • sphere

Canes are increasingly fashionable, personalized, and more functional.In addition to bright colors, these innovative walking aids offer options such as self-standing, easy retrieval, non-slip leaning, and mix-and-match handles and tips for ultimate customization. Silicone handles enable propping up against surfaces without sliding and falling. A pendulum effect “swings” the IQ Stick when walking, and a toe tap on the wide tip of some canes makes for a self-righting walking stick. Glow-in-the-dark handles turn traditional canes into fun and functional mobility aids. This strong, lightweight cane was designed with an innovative pendulum effect that “swings” easily with you as you walk. Should it fall over, it can be righted with the mere tap of a toe on the tip. The handle glows in the dark and the cone-shape stair guard on the base reduces the risk of the cane catching, causing the user to trip.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794961/

  • Manufactured by MagnaReady
  • two-ply cotton, magnets, buttons
  • Gift of MagnaReady - Maura Horton CEO/Founder
  • wearable
  • shirt
  • magnetic
  • dexterity
  • button up
  • oxford shirt
  • Parkinson's
  • Arthritis
  • illusion

For people with limited manual dexterity, buttoning a shirt can be physically exhausting and frustrating, even impossible. To address this daily challenge caused by her husband's Parkinson’s disease, fashion designer Maura Horton embedded a magnetic closure system behind the shirt’s buttons. Magnets make getting dressed easier for everyone while also retaining a person’s dignity of dressing independently.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794969/

  • Designed by Maayan Ziv
  • Courtesy of Maayan Ziv
  • map
  • navigation
  • open source
  • international
  • mapping
  • accessability
  • app
  • pins

Maayan Ziv founded the app, AccessNow, to create a more accessible world. As a person with muscular dystrophy, she knows the challenges many people encounter when trying to determine whether a building is physically accessible. AccessNow is an interactive crowdsourced map where people can pinpoint and rate the accessibility status of places around the world. Please join the movement by adding your first pin today!

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794971/

  • Designed by Tobie Hatfield
  • synthetic materials, velcro, plastic zipper, rubber, metal zipper
  • Gift of Nike, Inc.
  • performance
  • athletes
  • accessory
  • wearable
  • sport
  • zipper
  • velcro
  • shoe
  • sneaker

FlyEase was inspired by Matthew Walzer, a teenager with cerebral palsy, who wrote to Nike to help solve the challenge of tying his shoelaces. The result was a shoe with a wrap-around zipper system that allows easy entry and exit of the foot from the back rather than from above, giving Matthew a new-found sense of independence and benefitting many.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794975/

  • Designed by Perkins School for the Blind
  • digital
  • Courtesy of BlindWays
  • transportation
  • digital
  • mobility
  • navigation
  • blind
  • mapping
  • guidance
  • app
  • low vision

This app began as a challenge to the Perkins School for the Blind: How to find the bus stop when you cannot see it? Blindways picks up where GPS falls short, guiding pedestrians who are blind through the "last 30 feet of frustration" to bus stops using community crowdsourced clues.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794977/

  • Designed by Yangyang Wang
  • Courtesy of WearWorks
  • digital
  • mobility
  • navigation
  • athletes
  • blind
  • wearable
  • assistive device
  • guidance
  • vibrating
  • GPS
  • sport
  • tactile
  • low vision
  • haptic

While most mapping and global positioning systems (GPS) deliver information through graphics or voice, Wayband gives tactile feedback. When paired with a smartphone navigational app, it guides the wearer to their destination by emitting patterns of vibrations instead of oral cues. Transmitting directions through pulses frees the user to hear other external sound cues, such as traffic or conversation. A sport version of Wayband was worn by blind ultramarathoner, Simon Wheatcroft, in the 2017 NYC Marathon.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794979/

  • Designed by Gordon Hartman
  • Courtesy of Robin Jerstad
  • water
  • children
  • mobility
  • Universal Design
  • play
  • whimsical
  • wheelchair
  • inclusive design
  • location
  • accessibility
  • waterpark

Inclusive playgrounds are about everyone being able to share and enjoy the benefits of play: physical, sensory, and social. Beyond having access, inclusive playgrounds are designed and laid out so that people in wheelchairs can get to the equipment and have a rich experience engaging with children of different abilities. This one-of-a-kind amusement park was recently designed specifically to create an experience for all children and their families. It is completely wheelchair-accessible and features rides, playgrounds, and other attractions, including a waterpark.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794981/

  • Designed by Yangyang Wang
  • resin, steel, pla
  • Courtesy of WearWorks
  • digital
  • mobility
  • navigation
  • blind
  • assistive device
  • guidance
  • vibrating
  • GPS
  • sport
  • low vision
  • haptic

While most mapping and global positioning systems (GPS) deliver information through graphics or voice, Wayband gives tactile feedback. When paired with a smartphone navigational app, it guides the wearer to their destination by emitting patterns of vibrations instead of oral cues. Transmitting directions through pulses frees the user to hear other external sound cues, such as traffic or conversation. A sport version of Wayband was worn by blind ultramarathoner, Simon Wheatcroft, in the 2017 NYC Marathon.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794985/

  • Designed by AbleNet, Inc.
  • plastic
  • Gift of AbleNet, Inc.

Switch access, when used in combination with Apple’s mobile operating system (iOS), is a powerful accessibility tool for people with limited motor skills such as restricted use of their arms. In combination with physical switches or other assistive technology, it allows one to navigate sequentially through onscreen items and perform specific actions using a variety of Bluetooth-enabled switch hardware.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794987/

  • Designed by Jacob Palmborg
  • injection-molded plastic, silicone
  • compact
  • wireless
  • white
  • case
  • deaf
  • sound device
  • hearing loss
  • high-tech

Here One wireless earbuds amplify and enhance speech, and reduce background noise. They are designed for anyone who wants to hear better in noisy environments. Paired with a smartphone app, they can also be used to stream music and answer calls. By using a familiar earbud style, Here One is hoping for seamless adoption in the hearing aid market.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794993/

  • Designed by Elana Langer
  • swarovski crystals, e6000 glue, hearing aid
  • Gift of Elana Langer
  • jewelry
  • fashion accessory
  • hearing aids
  • sparkle
  • jeweled
  • illusion
  • deaf
  • hearing loss
  • hard of hearing

Some designers and hearing aid users are transforming their devices into fashion statements and unique works. Just as eyeglasses are available in an array of colors and styles, hearing aids can be transformed into a personalized accessory rather than concealed behind one’s ear or hair.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158794999/

  • Designed by Elana Langer
  • swarovski crystals, e6000 glue, hearing aid
  • Gift of Elana Langer
  • jewelry
  • fashion accessory
  • hearing aids
  • sparkle
  • jeweled
  • illusion
  • deaf
  • hearing loss
  • hard of hearing

Some designers and hearing aid users are transforming their devices into fashion statements and unique works. Just as eyeglasses are available in an array of colors and styles, hearing aids can be transformed into a personalized accessory rather than concealed behind one’s ear or hair.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158795001/

  • Designed by Kristine Woolery
  • digital
  • Courtesy of Kat Holmes
  • graphic design
  • activity
  • tools
  • human-centric
  • inclusive design
  • accessibility
  • guidelines
  • definitions

Holmes and Woolery and their team at Microsoft created these free, downloadable activity cards to encourage an inclusive approach when designing. It is based on the following inclusive design principles: recognize exclusion; learn from diversity; solve for one, extend to many. It is the result of extensive research, including conversations with users and designers, on how to design for the full range of human diversity.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158795003/

  • Designed by Tech Kids Unlimited
  • digital
  • Courtesy of Tech Kids Unlimited
  • children
  • digital
  • playful
  • cartoon
  • fun
  • routine
  • app
  • Autism
  • gif
  • meme
  • reminder
  • habits
  • everyday life

The LOLA app, conceived by Seth Truman, inspires individuals to perform routine tasks and supports social interaction through animated and personalized reminders. Through questions like: Do you forget to put on deodorant on each morning? Do you need cues for greeting people? it provides users with playful reminders and rewards. LOLA engages youth on the autism spectrum to learn digital tools and collaborate through technology.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817787/

  • Designed by Playworld Systems, Inc.
  • Manufactured by Playworld Systems, Inc.
  • Courtesy of Playworld
  • children
  • colorful
  • Universal Design
  • play
  • fun
  • textural
  • accessability
  • inclusive design

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817789/

  • Designed by Verde Design
  • photograph
  • Image courtesy of Bernardo Grijalva for Magical Bridge Foundation
  • children
  • colorful
  • Universal Design
  • play
  • fun
  • textural
  • inclusive design
  • accessibility
  • learning

Inclusive playgrounds are about everyone being able to share and enjoy the benefits of play: physical, sensory, and social. Beyond having access, inclusive playgrounds are designed and laid out so that people in wheelchairs can get to the equipment and have a rich experience engaging with children of different abilities. Magical Bridge is a series of innovative playgrounds, whose flagship location is Mitchell Park in Palo Alto, California. It is committed to addressing the needs of everyone in a community—including children and adults with disabilities, people from economically challenged homes or underfunded schools—so that everyone has an opportunity to play.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817795/

  • Designed by Nicolas Villar
  • 3d printing, custom pcb
  • Lent by Haiyan Zhang
  • circular
  • wearable
  • white
  • watch
  • bracelet
  • stability
  • Parkinson's
  • vibrating
  • eggshell blue
  • cursive
  • control
  • counterbalance
  • haptic

UK-based graphic designer Emma Lawton was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2013 and lost the ability to draw and write her name due to active hand tremors. Microsoft researchers Haiyan Zhang and Nicolas Villar invented the Emma Watch, a wearable device that uses haptic vibration technology to allow Emma to regain the use of her hand.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817801/

  • Designed by Tobii Dynavox
  • tobii is4 eye tracker, infrared glass, eye tracker metal frame
  • Lent by Tobii Dynavox
  • communication
  • electronic
  • eye contact
  • accessible
  • computer
  • assistive device
  • tablet
  • inclusive design

The EyeMobile Plus is an extensive hands-free mobile, computer access communication system that combines eye tracking, speech recognition, switch, and infrared. People who use Communicator 5, a versatile software that helps literate users communicate more effectively, on the EyeMobile Plus maintain a high-level of independence due to its powerful tools, which included an on-screen keyboard.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817803/

  • Designed by HumanWare
  • Gift of HumanWare
  • electronic
  • buttons
  • typing
  • keyboard
  • Braille
  • blind
  • accessible
  • literacy
  • assistive device
  • low vision
  • language
  • responsive

This small and portable HumanWare Brailliant Braille Display essentially puts braille at one’s fingertips. Used in conjunction with a laptop, tablet, or mobile device, the keyboard’s simple layout has braille input and output, and is particularly efficient for navigating text-heavy communication such as writing emails, extensive reading, and note taking.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817805/

  • pen and ink on paper
  • Lent by Emilie Gossiaux
  • art
  • blind
  • assistive device
  • low vision
  • artist

When artist Emilie Gossiaux was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle, she suffered multiple injuries including a traumatic brain injury, a stroke, and fractures in her head, pelvis, and leg. She also lost her vision. As a continuation in her art practice, Emilie uses the Brainport device, which enables her to see contrasting light and dark shapes and the outlines of her drawings.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817809/

  • Designed by Alleles Design Studio
  • abs plastic
  • Gift of ALLELES Design Studio Ltd.
  • circles
  • overlapping
  • screen
  • geometric
  • covers
  • pierced
  • mobility
  • fashion
  • accessory
  • innovation
  • customizable
  • style

ALLELES Design Studio’s mission is to do for prosthetics what fashion did for eyeglasses. These prosthetic leg covers adorn and add a human silhouette to artificial limbs. Intended as a fashion accessory, the goal is to give amputees choice to select from a large variety of colors and patterns and the ability to shop in the same way they choose clothes.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817811/

  • Designed by Alleles Design Studio
  • abs plastic
  • Gift of ALLELES Design Studio Ltd.
  • geometric
  • mobility
  • fashion
  • accessory
  • skull
  • innovation
  • customizable
  • style
  • cover
  • compase rose

ALLELES Design Studio’s mission is to do for prosthetics what fashion did for eyeglasses. These prosthetic leg covers adorn and add a human silhouette to artificial limbs. Intended as a fashion accessory, the goal is to give amputees choice to select from a large variety of colors and patterns and the ability to shop in the same way they choose clothes.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817813/

  • Designed by Alleles Design Studio
  • abs plastic
  • Gift of ALLELES Design Studio Ltd.
  • floral
  • scrolls
  • lace
  • pierced
  • mobility
  • fashion
  • accessory
  • innovation
  • cut out
  • customizable
  • style
  • cover

ALLELES Design Studio’s mission is to do for prosthetics what fashion did for eyeglasses. These prosthetic leg covers adorn and add a human silhouette to artificial limbs. Intended as a fashion accessory, the goal is to give amputees choice to select from a large variety of colors and patterns and the ability to shop in the same way they choose clothes.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817817/

  • Designed by Alleles Design Studio
  • abs plastic
  • Gift of ALLELES Design Studio Ltd.
  • floral
  • leaves
  • vines
  • mobility
  • fashion
  • accessory
  • innovation
  • customizable
  • style
  • cover
  • pedals

ALLELES Design Studio’s mission is to do for prosthetics what fashion did for eyeglasses. These prosthetic leg covers adorn and add a human silhouette to artificial limbs. Intended as a fashion accessory, the goal is to give amputees choice to select from a large variety of colors and patterns and the ability to shop in the same way they choose clothes.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817819/

  • Designed by Alleles Design Studio
  • abs plastic
  • Gift of ALLELES Design Studio Ltd.
  • geometric
  • pierced
  • deer
  • mobility
  • fashion
  • accessory
  • antlers
  • stag
  • innovation
  • customizable
  • style
  • cover
  • buck

ALLELES Design Studio’s mission is to do for prosthetics what fashion did for eyeglasses. These prosthetic leg covers adorn and add a human silhouette to artificial limbs. Intended as a fashion accessory, the goal is to give amputees choice to select from a large variety of colors and patterns and the ability to shop in the same way they choose clothes.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817821/

  • Designed by Alleles Design Studio
  • Gift of ALLELES Design Studio Ltd.
  • geometric
  • lines
  • mobility
  • fashion
  • camouflage
  • accessory
  • innovation
  • customizable
  • style
  • cover
  • digital inspired
  • blocks

ALLELES Design Studio’s mission is to do for prosthetics what fashion did for eyeglasses. These prosthetic leg covers adorn and add a human silhouette to artificial limbs. Intended as a fashion accessory, the goal is to give amputees choice to select from a large variety of colors and patterns and the ability to shop in the same way they choose clothes.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817823/

  • Designed by Alleles Design Studio
  • abs plastic
  • Gift of ALLELES Design Studio Ltd.
  • waves
  • curvilinear
  • accessory
  • fashionable
  • customizable
  • assistive device
  • style
  • turtle
  • sea turtle
  • ying-yang

ALLELES Design Studio’s mission is to do for prosthetics what fashion did for eyeglasses. These prosthetic leg covers adorn and add a human silhouette to artificial limbs. Intended as a fashion accessory, the goal is to give amputees choice to select from a large variety of colors and patterns and the ability to shop in the same way they choose clothes.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817825/

  • Designed by Alleles Design Studio
  • Gift of ALLELES Design Studio Ltd.
  • pattern
  • geometric
  • accessory
  • fashionable
  • customizable
  • assistive device
  • style

ALLELES Design Studio’s mission is to do for prosthetics what fashion did for eyeglasses. These prosthetic leg covers adorn and add a human silhouette to artificial limbs. Intended as a fashion accessory, the goal is to give amputees choice to select from a large variety of colors and patterns and the ability to shop in the same way they choose clothes.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817831/

  • Designed by Anupam Pathak
  • polycarbonate, stainless steel, electronic components
  • Gift of Verily Life Sciences
  • anthropomorphic
  • prosthetic
  • hand
  • interchangeable
  • spoon
  • white
  • fork
  • 3-D printed
  • assistive device
  • stability
  • responsive
  • grey

Liftware is a suite of electronic, assistive devices designed to help people with mobility challenges eat more easily and independently. It includes Level, a self-leveling handle that automoatically bends its flexible gray joint, keeping the attachment level as one’s hand or arm twists, bends, or moves, and Steady, a motion-stabilizing spoon that counteracts hand tremor. Both devices offer a selection of attachments for eating.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817837/

  • abs/pc resin, silicone
  • Gift of PillPack
  • organization
  • packaging
  • medicinal
  • box
  • routine
  • dispenser
  • pharmaceutical
  • pill
  • refillable

PillPack is a service designed to assist people in managing their medication routines. It pre-sorts and organizes medication into pouches labeled with the scheduled days and times, which helps the user avoid mis-dosing, overdosing, or forgetting their dose. PillPack coordinates any changes in medication with the user’s doctor and delivers a new supply of medication every month.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817839/

  • Designed by Hasbro
  • polyester, felt, plastic, nylon
  • Gift of Hasbro's Joy for All Companion Pets
  • fur
  • natural color
  • Imitative
  • cats
  • sensors
  • pet
  • soft
  • animated
  • soothing
  • realistic
  • routine
  • tactile
  • everyday life
  • lifelike

Robot pets are therapeutic devices for people with dementia and autism. These lifelike companion pets feel, sound, and move like animals and are responsive to petting and hugs. When cuddled, the emotional connection made with such soft toys unlocks feelings of security and affection, helping to alleviate bouts of loneliness and isolation. They also help connect people, such as grandchildren and grandparents.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817841/

  • Designed by Hasbro
  • plastic, metal, vinyl, polypropylene, felt
  • Gift of Hasbro's Joy for All Companion Pets
  • dogs
  • fur
  • natural color
  • Imitative
  • sensors
  • pet
  • soft
  • animated
  • soothing
  • realistic
  • tactile
  • bandana
  • lifelike

Robot pets are therapeutic devices for people with dementia and autism. These lifelike companion pets feel, sound, and move like animals and are responsive to petting and hugs. When cuddled, the emotional connection made with such soft toys unlocks feelings of security and affection, helping to alleviate bouts of loneliness and isolation. They also help connect people, such as grandchildren and grandparents.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817843/

  • Designed by Intelligent Product Solutions
  • plastic, various electronic, computing, and cellular components
  • Gift of AdhereTech
  • light
  • packaging
  • medicinal
  • white
  • routine
  • reminder
  • dispenser
  • pharmaceutical
  • pill
  • refillable
  • pill bottle

Among the most common reasons people do not take prescribed medication are: failure to remember timing, to take proper doses, or to refill prescriptions. AdhereTech's smart, wireless pill bottles use sensor and cellular technologies to remind people to take pills. If doses are missed, the system sends gentle reminders to users or caregivers, such as customized text messages, phone calls, and/or on-bottle lights and chimes.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817849/

  • Designed by Michael Graves
  • Manufactured by Moen Inc.
  • stainless steel, polypropylene
  • Gift of Moen Inc.
  • domestic
  • steel
  • support
  • safety
  • prototype
  • bathing
  • routine
  • bathroom accessory
  • independent living

Clunky grab bars are often afterthoughts installed for safety. When redesigned as an elegant square frame, the Shower Trellis Grab Bar serves diverse needs and generations: multiple touch points to prevent slipping by both adults and small children, a footrest for shaving legs, a shelf for shampoo and soap, and a place to hang a brush.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817855/

  • photograph
  • Courtesy of Issei Suma, photo by Takumi Ota
  • water
  • spiral
  • Fibonacci
  • accessible
  • concrete
  • routine
  • independent living
  • pool
  • ramp
  • slope
  • ground level

This wheelchair-accessible pool is part of a mountain residence designed by architect Issei Suma. It is among the amenities provided to the community of retired individuals and families that combine private spaces for living and working, and public spaces such as kitchens and access to nature—all of which are designed with accessibility in mind.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817857/

  • Designed by Michael Graves
  • Manufactured by Moen Inc.
  • polypropylene, tpe, aluminum, synthetic fibers
  • Gift of Michael Graves Design Group
  • hygiene
  • interchangeable
  • prototype
  • bathing
  • routine
  • bathroom accessory
  • independent living
  • flexibility

When we experience an injury, or as we age, our range of motion can decrease, making rigid bathing wands difficult to use. This flexible, bendable bathing wand facilitates the cleaning of hard to reach places. Its interchangeable heads come in three materials and textures and can be removed for handheld use without the wand.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817859/

  • Designed by Michael Graves
  • polypropylene, tpe, synthetic fibers
  • Gift of Michael Graves Design Group
  • hygiene
  • interchangeable
  • prototype
  • bathing
  • routine
  • sponge
  • independent living
  • flexibility
  • bathing accessory
  • bathroom

When we experience an injury, or as we age, our range of motion can decrease, making rigid bathing wands difficult to use. This flexible, bendable bathing wand facilitates the cleaning of hard to reach places. Its interchangeable heads come in three materials and textures and can be removed for handheld use without the wand.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817867/

  • Designed by R82
  • shell: polypropylene; cushion: polyester and polyurethane; straps: polypropylene
  • Gift of Convaid | R82
  • red
  • seating
  • portable
  • support
  • set
  • stability
  • stimulating
  • rocking
  • gridded
  • comfortable
  • isolating
  • nesting

Designer Keira Gwynn originally created this simple, portable, and versatile seat as a student project for use as an indoor or outdoor aid in floor sitting or to add extra support attached to a chair. By enclosing the seat around the child’s pelvis and trunk, it provides stability without preventing movement, providing sensory feedback that creates a sense of calm and relaxation.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817871/

  • Designed by R82
  • shell: polypropylene; cushion: polyester and polyurethane; straps: polypropylene
  • Gift of Convaid | R82
  • seating
  • portable
  • support
  • gray
  • set
  • stability
  • stimulating
  • rocking
  • gridded
  • comfortable
  • isolating
  • nesting

Designer Keira Gwynn originally created this simple, portable, and versatile seat as a student project for use as an indoor or outdoor aid in floor sitting or to add extra support attached to a chair. By enclosing the seat around the child’s pelvis and trunk, it provides stability without preventing movement, providing sensory feedback that creates a sense of calm and relaxation.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817873/

  • Designed by R82
  • shell: polypropylene; cushion: polyester and polyurethane; straps: polypropylene
  • Gift of Convaid | R82
  • seating
  • portable
  • support
  • blue
  • set
  • stability
  • stimulating
  • rocking
  • gridded
  • comfortable
  • isolating
  • nesting

Designer Keira Gwynn originally created this simple, portable, and versatile seat as a student project for use as an indoor or outdoor aid in floor sitting or to add extra support attached to a chair. By enclosing the seat around the child’s pelvis and trunk, it provides stability without preventing movement, providing sensory feedback that creates a sense of calm and relaxation.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158817875/

  • Designed by R82
  • shell: polypropylene; cushion: polyester and polyurethane; straps: polypropylene
  • Gift of Convaid | R82
  • green
  • seating
  • portable
  • support
  • set
  • stability
  • stimulating
  • rocking
  • gridded
  • comfortable
  • isolating
  • nesting

Designer Keira Gwynn originally created this simple, portable, and versatile seat as a student project for use as an indoor or outdoor aid in floor sitting or to add extra support attached to a chair. By enclosing the seat around the child’s pelvis and trunk, it provides stability without preventing movement, providing sensory feedback that creates a sense of calm and relaxation.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158829517/

  • Manufactured by Mattel
  • digital print on coated card stock
  • green
  • entertainment
  • red
  • blue
  • yellow
  • primary colors
  • game
  • symbol
  • coded
  • color blind
  • colorADD
  • cards

Approximately 350 million people worldwide are affected by color blindness. As the world’s number one selling card game, UNO® is played by matching numbers and colors. A simple premise, unless one struggles with color identification. To make the game more accessible, UNO® partnered with ColorADD, a color identification system using symbols to represent colors, to create the first card game optimized for the color blind.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831667/

  • Designed by Michael Graves
  • Manufactured by Stryker Medical
  • steel, stainless steel, polypropylene, nylon, tpu
  • Lent by Stryker Medical
  • transport
  • comfort
  • accessible
  • healing
  • assistive device
  • cleanliness
  • multi-user
  • hospital
  • medical equipment

This represents a complete rethink of the hospital transport wheelchair. Taking an empathetic approach to its redesign, several “users” were considered, among them the patient, the transporter, and maintenance people. Other issues considered included transferring patients and equipment, patient falls, spread of infection, clinician back strain, nesting storage, lost parts, and theft. Its many articulating parts expand the notion of portability.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831673/

  • Manufactured by Maddak Inc.
  • glass-reinforced nylon, aluminum
  • Lent by Duncan Fitzsimons
  • transportation
  • collapsible
  • mobility
  • portable
  • wheel
  • circle
  • black
  • gray
  • aluminium
  • foldable

Portability is a key factor to being mobile and moving about as unencumbered as possible. Among the challenges of storing and transporting wheelchairs is wheel size. These folding wheels, originally developed for the high-end bicycle industry, are a game-changer for wheelchair users, collapsing to nearly half the space, thus enabling the wheels and wheelchair to fit into smaller storage compartments.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831677/

  • leather, fiberglass, stainless steel, maple skateboard veneer, casting resin, neoprene
  • affordable
  • wood
  • mobility
  • legs
  • prototype
  • accessible
  • wearable
  • routine

The Simple Limb Initiative began as a project for students at San Jose State University to address affordable prostheses, specifically for children and teens who outgrow customized devices. The Stance, created and tested in partnership with Mahavir Kmina Artificial Limb Center in Colombia, is designed to adapt to growth without compromising function. Materials are sourced from regional manufacturers so that parts can be customized and assembled locally for under $40.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831679/

  • Manufactured by Maddak Inc.
  • glass-reinforced nylon, aluminum
  • Lent by Duncan Fitzsimons
  • transportation
  • collapsible
  • mobility
  • portable
  • black
  • gray
  • aluminium
  • foldable
  • figure eight
  • infinity
  • space saving

Portability is a key factor to being mobile and moving about as unencumbered as possible. Among the challenges of storing and transporting wheelchairs is wheel size. These folding wheels, originally developed for the high-end bicycle industry, are a game-changer for wheelchair users, collapsing to nearly half the space, thus enabling the wheels and wheelchair to fit into smaller storage compartments.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831701/

  • Designed by Evan Kuester
  • sls 3d-printed nylon 12
  • Lent by Evan Kuester
  • geometric
  • pierced
  • fashion
  • hand
  • ribbon
  • accessory
  • joints
  • cut out
  • customizable
  • assistive device
  • routine
  • style
  • wrist
  • corseting
  • forearm

Designed for a specific user, this assistive design was created to blur the boundary between jewelry and prosthesis, to complement an outfit rather than be used as a functioning hand. The intention is to look beautiful and perform simple functions, such as holding a wineglass at dinner.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831703/

  • Designed by Evan Kuester
  • sls 3d-printed nylon 12
  • Lent by Evan Kuester
  • motion
  • screen
  • pierced
  • plastic
  • black
  • joints
  • assistive device
  • routine
  • wrist
  • tendons

3D printing may well be the future of prosthetics. Among the benefits of products produced using this technique is that they are lightweight and can be customized for the individual, offering many more choices. Most prostheses are quite expensive and most lack the ability to control fine motor skills. Designs like these also have a "cool factor," adding to their appeal.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831705/

  • beech, cedar, leather, cellulose acetate, felted wool, steel
  • Lent by DJCAD, University of Dundee and Institute of Making, University College London, with MAKLab, Glasgow, funded by Research Councils UK
  • flexible
  • wood
  • leather
  • prosthetic
  • customizable
  • assistive device
  • routine
  • individual

The Spring Summer 2018 collection of prosthetic hands features a palette of everyday materials. Each wearer browses swatches and creates a simplified jigsaw hand to specify a material combination for hybrid digital-manual fabrication. Co-designed with wearers and makers, the Hands of X service was piloted at Cubitts eyewear store in London.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831713/

  • Designed by Amanda Savitzky
  • plastic, wood
  • instruction
  • measuring
  • geometric
  • utensils
  • cooking
  • structure
  • kitchenware
  • routine
  • independent living
  • color coded

Savitzky designed this system to help her adult brother who is on the autism spectrum learn to cook for himself. To provide visual structure and routine, the measuring cups have easy-to-grip handles and come in four colors and shapes, each with a corresponding storage place in a wooden board. An iPad translates recipes into an interactive step-by-step slideshow, and ingredients are coordinated with the measuring cups.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831715/

  • Designed by Kate Cutlip
  • Lent by Kate Cutlip
  • plants
  • hobbyists
  • portable
  • garden
  • bag
  • routine
  • accessibility
  • everyday life
  • gardener
  • Alzheimer's
  • caring
  • Pratt

For safety reasons, many people with Alzheimer’s are no longer able to cook. The Portable Herb Garden enables them to still participate and contribute to the seasoning of the food. In addition to stimulating the senses, the Garden becomes an activity the whole family can enjoy together, even as conversation becomes challenging in later stages of Alzheimer’s.

This object is currently on display in room 113 in Carnegie Mansion.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831721/

  • Designed by Braden Young
  • pattern
  • storage
  • decorative
  • organization
  • accessible
  • routine
  • independent living
  • Alzheimer's
  • dementia
  • Pratt

The Velcro Wallcovering provides storage for common objects—remotes, pill bottles, eyeglasses—so they are not forgotten. Velcro tiles can be placed on an entire wall or one area of the room based on an individual’s need.

This object is currently on display in room 113 in Carnegie Mansion.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831725/

  • Designed by Hsing-Yin Liang
  • Lent by Hsing-Yin Liang
  • cabinets
  • flexible
  • comfort
  • multipurpose
  • reflective
  • photographs
  • routine
  • Alzheimer's
  • memories
  • multiple users
  • disorientation

Mirrors can be disturbing to people with Alzheimer’s, who sometimes interpret their self-image as a stranger, causing both confusion and distress. This mirror operates in two modes as a mirror or as an illuminated picture frame—and can serve the needs of the entire family.

This object is currently on display in room 113 in Carnegie Mansion.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831727/

  • Designed by Lauren Lee
  • Lent by Lauren Lee
  • comfort
  • shag rug
  • hygiene
  • bathing
  • pet
  • dog
  • routine
  • sponge
  • cleanliness
  • independent living
  • Alzheimer's
  • distraction
  • charcoal
  • companion

Bathing can be a frightening activity for people with Alzheimer’s, whose dignity and privacy may be compromised. Dirty Dog is a bathing companion kit made of microfiber sponge accompanied by black charcoal soap. When the soap is applied to the dog, it appears dirty, shifting the caregiver’s narrative to “let’s wash the dog.” While bathing the dog, the soap lathers onto the bather as well. The responsibility of caring for and washing someone else gives the person a sense of purpose in the bathroom, and takes the focus off their own bathing.

This object is currently on display in room 113 in Carnegie Mansion.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831733/

  • Designed by Anupam Pathak
  • nylon, stainless steel, electonric components
  • dining
  • electronic
  • eating
  • cutlery
  • independence
  • interchangeable
  • utensil
  • spoon
  • kitchenware
  • fork
  • assistive device
  • stability
  • responsive

Liftware is a suite of electronic, assistive devices designed to help people with mobility challenges eat more easily and independently. It includes Level, a self-leveling handle that automoatically bends its flexible gray joint, keeping the attachment level as one’s hand or arm twists, bends, or moves, and Steady, a motion-stabilizing spoon that counteracts hand tremor. Both devices offer a selection of attachments for eating.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831737/

  • Designed by Anupam Pathak
  • polycarbonate, stainless steel, electronic components
  • dining
  • eating
  • cutlery
  • independence
  • flatware
  • interchangeable
  • utensil
  • spoon
  • white
  • gray
  • kitchenware
  • fork
  • assistive device
  • routine
  • stability
  • responsive

Liftware is a suite of electronic, assistive devices designed to help people with mobility challenges eat more easily and independently. It includes Level, a self-leveling handle that automoatically bends its flexible gray joint, keeping the attachment level as one’s hand or arm twists, bends, or moves, and Steady, a motion-stabilizing spoon that counteracts hand tremor. Both devices offer a selection of attachments for eating.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831739/

  • Manufactured by Philips Electronics North America
  • Gift of Philips Lighting
  • dome
  • lighting
  • digital
  • electronic
  • light bulb
  • rainbow
  • routine
  • app

Today’s smart devices are transforming the home environment, enabling people, especially those with limited mobility, to live more independently. Siri knows which HomeKit-enabled accessories, like Philips Hue smart lighting, you have in your home, and with simple voice commands, you can trigger a range of daily actions such as turning lights on/off, turning the thermostat up/down, and locking/unlocking the door.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831743/

  • Manufactured by SensaRx, LLC
  • plastic, electronic components
  • communication
  • digital
  • safety
  • wearable
  • alert
  • app
  • notify
  • independent living
  • multiple users
  • discreet

Getting out of bed or a chair unassisted can lead to falls and injury. This small sensor, easily and securely attached to one’s clothes, detects change in body position and immediately sends an alert to the caregiver's smartphone as the person gets up, enabling a timely response to prevent falls and wandering.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831749/

  • Manufactured by E2L Products Limited
  • injection-molded abs(hips), wood (mdf), electronic components
  • Gift of The Alzheimer's Store
  • entertainment
  • music
  • electronic
  • red
  • simple
  • accessible
  • radio
  • box
  • routine
  • Alzheimer's
  • dementia
  • familiar
  • retro
  • speaker

For people with dementia, the benefits of music are significant, both for quality of life and improving cognizance and lucidity. The design is radically simplified to aid operation, appears non-threatening and recognizable. Once pre-loaded with favorite tunes or audio books, the user activates or stops it by merely lifting the lid.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158831757/

  • Designed by Mari Anderson Bogdan
  • polyester shell fabric, polyester fill
  • Gift of Target
  • children
  • winter
  • comfort
  • convertible
  • adaptive
  • fashionable
  • everyday
  • outerwear
  • routine
  • style
  • puffer

This jacket was created in partnership with countless potential users as well as with two of Target’s employees from the seated community. The zip-off sleeves allow for versatility so it can be worn as a vest, and side openings make getting dressed easier for children with disabilities.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158847035/

  • Designed by Matthew Kroeker
  • cast aluminum, overmolded silicone, walnut, thermoplastic rubber
  • Gift of Top & Derby Limited
  • comfort
  • wood
  • mobility
  • handle
  • independence
  • blue
  • accessory
  • fashionable
  • routine
  • stability

Canes are increasingly fashionable, personalized, and more functional. In addition to bright colors, these innovative walking aids offer options such as self-standing, easy retrieval, non-slip leaning, and mix-and-match handles and tips for ultimate customization. Silicone handles enable propping up against surfaces without sliding and falling. A pendulum effect “swings” the IQ Stick when walking, and a toe tap on the wide tip of some canes makes for a self-righting walking stick. Glow-in-the-dark handles turn traditional canes into fun and functional mobility aids. The Chatfield Walking Cane’s silicone covered handle allows the cane to be propped up and rest against a wall without sliding. Its upturned nose is comfortable to grip and intuitively positions the hand directly over the wood shaft for greater stability during use.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158847037/

  • Designed by Matthew Kroeker
  • cast aluminum, overmolded silicone, walnut, thermoplastic rubber
  • Gift of Top & Derby Limited
  • comfort
  • wood
  • mobility
  • handle
  • independence
  • accessory
  • fashionable
  • routine
  • stability

Canes are increasingly fashionable, personalized, and more functional. In addition to bright colors, these innovative walking aids offer options such as self-standing, easy retrieval, non-slip leaning, and mix-and-match handles and tips for ultimate customization. Silicone handles enable propping up against surfaces without sliding and falling. A pendulum effect “swings” the IQ Stick when walking, and a toe tap on the wide tip of some canes makes for a self-righting walking stick. Glow-in-the-dark handles turn traditional canes into fun and functional mobility aids. The Chatfield Walking Cane’s silicone covered handle allows the cane to be propped up and rest against a wall without sliding. Its upturned nose is comfortable to grip and intuitively positions the hand directly over the wood shaft for greater stability during use.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158847039/

  • Designed by Matthew Kroeker
  • cast aluminum, overmolded silicone, walnut, thermoplastic rubber
  • Gift of Top & Derby Limited
  • red
  • comfort
  • wood
  • mobility
  • handle
  • independence
  • accessory
  • fashionable
  • routine
  • stability

Canes are increasingly fashionable, personalized, and more functional. In addition to bright colors, these innovative walking aids offer options such as self-standing, easy retrieval, non-slip leaning, and mix-and-match handles and tips for ultimate customization. Silicone handles enable propping up against surfaces without sliding and falling. A pendulum effect “swings” the IQ Stick when walking, and a toe tap on the wide tip of some canes makes for a self-righting walking stick. Glow-in-the-dark handles turn traditional canes into fun and functional mobility aids. The Chatfield Walking Cane’s silicone covered handle allows the cane to be propped up and rest against a wall without sliding. Its upturned nose is comfortable to grip and intuitively positions the hand directly over the wood shaft for greater stability during use.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158847041/

  • Designed by Matthew Kroeker
  • Gift of Top & Derby Limited
  • rubber
  • comfort
  • handle
  • interchangeable
  • grip
  • fashionable
  • stability
  • flat surface

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158847059/

  • Designed by Ben Grynol
  • nylon, spandex
  • Gift of Top & Derby Limited
  • pattern
  • feet
  • clothing
  • fashion accessory
  • aging
  • routine
  • compression
  • style
  • sock
  • leg
  • greyscale

Compression socks increase blood circulation in the legs and minimize swelling that results from prolonged sedentariness. Until recently, they were sold mainly in pharmacies, made of cotton and nylon, in shades of tan and black. Contemporary designs are both functional and fashionable, employing compression technology and new fibers that mold to the body and are meant to be shown off, rather than concealed.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158847061/

  • Designed by Elizabeth DePoy
  • aluminum, bmx bike wheels, bike components
  • Lent by Mobility Technologies
  • hobbyists
  • mobility
  • balance
  • outdoors
  • three wheel
  • stability
  • off roading
  • walker
  • bicycle wheel
  • triangle
  • BMX bike

Originally created by the designers for their own use, Afari is an aesthetically conceived outdoor mobility aid designed to inspire people to participate in jogging, running, and walking on diverse terrain. Fostering independence and confidence, it also promotes endurance, strength, as well as upright posture.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158847063/

  • Designed by Ben Grynol
  • nylon, spandex
  • Gift of Top & Derby Limited
  • pattern
  • feet
  • geometric
  • clothing
  • fashion accessory
  • yellow
  • aging
  • routine
  • compression
  • style
  • sock
  • leg

Compression socks increase blood circulation in the legs and minimize swelling that results from prolonged sedentariness. Until recently, they were sold mainly in pharmacies, made of cotton and nylon, in shades of tan and black. Contemporary designs are both functional and fashionable, employing compression technology and new fibers that mold to the body and are meant to be shown off, rather than concealed.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158857375/

  • Designed by Merle Robbins
  • Gift of Mattel
  • green
  • entertainment
  • red
  • numbers
  • blue
  • yellow
  • game
  • color coded
  • cards
  • pirmary colors

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158857385/

  • Purchased by the museum for the exhibition
  • electronic
  • mobility
  • lighting device
  • assistive device
  • stability
  • guidance
  • low vision
  • multi use
  • night vision

This light attaches to a standard cane and other mobility equipment to help ensure safe maneuvering in the dark. It is particularly useful in uneven or unfamiliar terrain, or if one gets up in the night. This small gadget enables independence—no one has to turn on the light—and it can prevent falls.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158857389/

  • Designed by Tobii Dynavox
  • gorilla glass, tobii is4 eye tracker, infrared glass, magnesium rear chassis
  • Lent by Tobii Dynavox
  • communication
  • conversation
  • electronic
  • screen
  • technology
  • education
  • symbols
  • icons
  • efficiency
  • eye contact
  • Autism
  • responsive
  • connect
  • non-verbal

Eye gaze interaction is a powerful touch-free operating tool. This is a portable eye-tracking, speech-generating device. When paired with Sensory EyeFX, software that is designed for adults and children starting out with eye gaze technology, users will develop eye gaze skills that are necessary for alternative communication, literacy development, and computer access.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158857393/

  • Designed by Tobii Dynavox
  • Lent by Tobii Dynavox
  • communication
  • screen
  • technology
  • education
  • symbols
  • portable
  • icons
  • assistive device
  • routine
  • connect
  • non-verbal

This all-in-one speech tablet was designed specifically for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Created to be heard, Indi’s capabilities go beyond speech communication such as Environmental Control Units, Infrared, access to social media, email, and texting. Snap Scene, its scene-based communication and language app, is intended for in-the-moment learning opportunities, enabling one to take photos for immediate replay and interaction.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158857395/

  • Designed by Ashley Bryant
  • electronic components, printed circuit board, laser, rubber, plastic
  • Purchased by the museum for the exhibition
  • electronic
  • line
  • laser
  • mobility
  • navigation
  • accessory
  • projection
  • routine
  • Parkinson's
  • guidance
  • clip-on
  • visual cue

Path Finder is a shoe attachment that provides visual stimuli to help people with unsteady and irregular walking. This is particularly helpful for those with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, who commonly experience “Freezing of Gait,” the sensation of feeling frozen in place. Path Finder projects a horizontal light beam on the ground in front of the user, stimulating them to step forward.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158857399/

  • Manufactured by Walk With Path Limited
  • electronic components, printed circuit board, foam
  • Purchased by the museum for the exhibition
  • mobility
  • navigation
  • sensors
  • assistive device
  • routine
  • Parkinson's
  • vibrating
  • tactile
  • shoe
  • haptic
  • insert
  • sole
  • eletronic

Embedded with sensors, Path Feel is an insole that provides vibrational feedback to people at risk of falls, such as those with peripheral neuropathy, with general balance issues, or who are unable to feel the ground. Path Feel helps users to identify touching the ground, and also captures data that can be used to understand a person’s gait patterns and activities.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158857401/

  • Manufactured by MagnaReady
  • two-ply cotton, magnets, buttons
  • Gift of MagnaReady - Maura Horton CEO/Founder
  • simple
  • fashion
  • accessible
  • wearable
  • assistive device
  • magnetic
  • dexterity
  • button up
  • Parkinson's
  • Arthritis
  • illusion
  • oxford

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158857405/

  • Designed by Rowan Liivamagi
  • Manufactured by Shapeways
  • silver, steel, or plastic
  • Purchased by the museum for the exhibition
  • tool
  • jewelry
  • multipurpose
  • independence
  • accessory
  • fashionable
  • customizable
  • 3-D printed
  • assistive device
  • routine
  • zipper
  • style
  • athritis

Väärtus is a three-piece series of jewelry-like tools designed to assist individuals with limited manual dexterity perform daily tasks. The arrow-shaped loop in the Ora ring helps thread buttons as well as hook zippers. The Bänd ring holds a writing implement upright and positions it in the wearer’s fingers. The Nippu keychain gives a key a larger grip and makes it easier to maneuver into locks.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158857407/

  • Designed by Rowan Liivamagi
  • Manufactured by Shapeways
  • silver, steel, plastic
  • Purchased by the museum for the exhibition
  • tool
  • jewelry
  • writing
  • independence
  • accessory
  • fashionable
  • customizable
  • 3-D printed
  • assistive device
  • routine
  • Arthritis
  • style
  • pen holder
  • double finger ring

Väärtus is a three-piece series of jewelry-like tools designed to assist individuals with limited manual dexterity perform daily tasks. The arrow-shaped loop in the Ora ring helps thread buttons as well as hook zippers. The Bänd ring holds a writing implement upright and positions it in the wearer’s fingers. The Nippu keychain gives a key a larger grip and makes it easier to maneuver into locks.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158857409/

  • Designed by Rowan Liivamagi
  • Manufactured by Shapeways
  • silver or steel
  • Purchased by the museum for the exhibition
  • metal
  • tool
  • jewelry
  • handle
  • independence
  • accessory
  • key
  • customizable
  • 3-D printed
  • assistive device
  • routine
  • Arthritis
  • keyholder
  • leverage

Väärtus is a three-piece series of jewelry-like tools designed to assist individuals with limited manual dexterity perform daily tasks. The arrow-shaped loop in the Ora ring helps thread buttons as well as hook zippers. The Bänd ring holds a writing implement upright and positions it in the wearer’s fingers. The Nippu keychain gives a key a larger grip and makes it easier to maneuver into locks.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158857411/

  • tritan
  • Gift of S'Up Products Ltd UK
  • dining
  • curvilinear
  • independence
  • hollow
  • utensil
  • spoon
  • black
  • horn
  • assistive device
  • routine
  • stability
  • Parkinson's
  • cerebal palsey

S'Up Spoon is a utensil for people with active hand tremors. It has a deep cavity that facilitates scooping up food such as soup and cereals while minimizing spilling when eating. Not only does it enable self-feeding and thus greater independence, but it is discrete so that it can be used in a restaurant.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158857417/

  • Designed by Morgan McInvaille
  • wood, stickers
  • Gift of Morgan McInvaille

Holding conversations can be difficult for people with Alzheimer’s. These customizable dice provide prompts for simple discussion topics, from reminiscences to imaginative storytelling.

This object is currently on display in room 113 in Carnegie Mansion.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158857419/

  • Designed by Nicolas Villar
  • 3d printing, custom pcb
  • Lent by Haiyan Zhang
  • circular
  • jewelry
  • fashion
  • accessory
  • wearable
  • white
  • watch
  • bracelet
  • assistive device
  • routine
  • stability
  • Parkinson's
  • vibrating
  • eggshell blue
  • cursive
  • control
  • counterbalance
  • haptic

UK-based graphic designer Emma Lawton was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2013 and lost the ability to draw and write her name due to active hand tremors. Microsoft researchers Haiyan Zhang and Nicolas Villar invented the Emma Watch, a wearable device that uses haptic vibration technology to allow Emma to regain the use of her hand.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158864591/

  • Designed by Cody Calamaio
  • Gift of Cody Calamaio

Exiting the front door and one’s home unaccompanied can be perilous for a person with Alzheimer’s. Using pop-up book techniques, this picture display system conceals the door, while redirecting the individual from thoughts of leaving to pleasant photographs of family or hobbies.

This object is currently on display in room 113 in Carnegie Mansion.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158864603/

  • Manufactured by Omhu
  • birch wood, aluminum, rubber
  • Lent by Rie Nørregaard

Canes are increasingly fashionable, personalized, and more functional.In addition to bright colors, these innovative walking aids offer options such as self-standing, easy retrieval, non-slip leaning, and mix-and-match handles and tips for ultimate customization. Silicone handles enable propping up against surfaces without sliding and falling. A pendulum effect “swings” the IQ Stick when walking, and a toe tap on the wide tip of some canes makes for a self-righting walking stick. Glow-in-the-dark handles turn traditional canes into fun and functional mobility aids. Inspired by the efficiency of Scandanavian furniture and the glossy aesthetic of high-end bicycles, the Omhu cane is a contemporary update on a traditional cane. Available in an array of bold colors, this mobility aid has been turned into an elegant fashion accessory. The rubber handle grip keeps the cane from sliding.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158864605/

  • Manufactured by Omhu
  • birch wood, aluminum, rubber
  • Lent by Rie Nørregaard

Canes are increasingly fashionable, personalized, and more functional.In addition to bright colors, these innovative walking aids offer options such as self-standing, easy retrieval, non-slip leaning, and mix-and-match handles and tips for ultimate customization. Silicone handles enable propping up against surfaces without sliding and falling. A pendulum effect “swings” the IQ Stick when walking, and a toe tap on the wide tip of some canes makes for a self-righting walking stick. Glow-in-the-dark handles turn traditional canes into fun and functional mobility aids. Inspired by the efficiency of Scandanavian furniture and the glossy aesthetic of high-end bicycles, the Omhu cane is a contemporary update on a traditional cane. Available in an array of bold colors, this mobility aid has been turned into an elegant fashion accessory. The rubber handle grip keeps the cane from sliding.

Access+Ability

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158864607/

  • Manufactured by Omhu
  • birch wood, aluminum, rubber
  • Lent by Rie Nørregaard

Canes are increasingly fashionable, personalized, and more functional.In addition to bright colors, these innovative walking aids offer options such as self-standing, easy retrieval, non-slip leaning, and mix-and-match handles and tips for ultimate customization. Silicone handles enable propping up against surfaces without sliding and falling. A pendulum effect “swings” the IQ Stick when walking, and a toe tap on the wide tip of some canes makes for a self-righting walking stick. Glow-in-the-dark handles turn traditional canes into fun and functional mobility aids. Inspired by the efficiency of Scandanavian furniture and the glossy aesthetic of high-end bicycles, the Omhu cane is a contemporary update on a traditional cane. Available in an array of bold colors, this mobility aid has been turned into an elegant fashion accessory. The rubber handle grip keeps the cane from sliding.