Forest, E. (2019). Leveraging Blind Woodworkers’ Practices to Develop Inclusive Instruction. OCADU.
link to the paper [opens in new tab]: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/2498/
I contend in this research paper that many design challenges would be easier to solve if the same diversity of end users was present among the designers. To that end, my graduate research focused on developing educational offerings in STEM and design that are accessible to visually impaired students, so that they have a pathway to become design practitioners, not just participants. I chose woodworking as a vehicle for non-visual design education because of my own interest in that field, and desire to share it, but also because of the welcoming groups of blind woodworkers who so warmly offered their expertise and support for my studies.
In partnership with blind woodworkers, I created an open, online resource for educators who want to make their classrooms more inclusive. The bulk of the teaching content is formed around 10 Teaching Principles that instructors can keep in mind while planning their lessons. The teaching principles will be familiar to many instructors, but they have unique deployments when it comes to serving blind and visually impaired students.
The webpage is a living resource that invites comments and the addition of helpful sources. In addition to the original research, I have linked to manuals written by blind woodworkers, for blind woodworkers, on tool use. You can visit it at the link below [link opens in a new window].