See Liz Henry’s talk “Introducing DTF: Disability Technology Foundation” at 4:55 pm on Saturday, November 12. (in person)
Disabled people are often locked into using proprietary hardware and software that’s ridiculously expensive, over-regulated, and difficult to maintain or modify.
E-bikes and scooters have great ecosystems for production and maintenance. Yet power wheelchairs, though they use many of the same components as e-bikes or scooters, are locked into a world where they’re unhackable, unfixable, and unrepairable by their owners.
Disabled people do hack their wheelchairs and other assistive technology, including software, hardware for mobility, screen readers, voice banking, AAC, and gadgets to help with limited dex. Meanwhile, engineering students, disability studies folks, and other academics, regularly invent useful stuff. The problem is, most of this stuff does not make it out into the world for practical use.
The time is right for disability justice to combine with F/LOSS! We can build an open ecosystem for assistive tech!
DTF, or Disability Technology Foundation, is LIz’s new venture. DTF will serve as a pathway for assistive technology inventors, hackers, wheelchair modders, etc. to open license their work. That way, they can share it with the world, so that other disabled people can have free access to DIY and low cost plans to build equipment — and make it work for them.
Liz Henry hangs out at Noisebridge and Double Union hackerspaces, loves open source software and anarchism, has worked as a software release manager for Mozilla and Twitch, dabbles in game development (MUDs, Inform7); and writes, edits, and does literary translation.
Liz works at Twitch, and also at Borealis Philanthropy as a Program Manager for the Disability x Tech fund.
DTF, or Disability Technology Foundation, is LIz’s new venture, which will serve as a pathway for assistive technology inventors, hackers, wheelchair modders, etc. to open license their work to share with the world, so that disabled people can have free access to DIY, low cost equipment.
You can find more of Liz’s writing, translation, and random-ass blogging at https://bookmaniac.org and for microblogging, @firstname.lastname@example.org.