Frequently Asked Questions

What is the goal of TCAT’s User-focus Design Lab and User Accessibility Troubleshooting Group?

The goal is to promote user-focused design of accessible technologies. By integrating the end-user into the design cycle, we hope to allow end users and caregivers to inform the design process, to encourage students' use of accessible best practices, and to promote the rapid creation of real, usable working prototypes.

Will this be a "fun" environment or more clinical in nature?

We hope to foster a fun, creative, learning environment (for both end users and students) while achieving real goals.

Who will be working with users?

At any given time, there may be a design student and/or engineering student and/or therapist working with users.

Can we involve therapists we are currently working with?

Yes, the therapists involved in the end-user's care are encouraged to attend and observe sessions. In the future, we hope to offer therapist-specific workshops that will enable therapists to integrate new technologies into their practice.

What type of time commitment do I need to be prepared to make?

Both the Design Lab and the User Accessibility Troubleshooting Group take place over the course of a quarter (typically 10-12 weeks). We meet every two weeks on Wednesday afternoons. Typically, you will be asked to attend five sessions, spaced two weeks apart.

Is there a fee associated with participation in the program?

No, participation in the program is free of charge.

Is there a way for caregivers to learn how to build or modify accessible technology?

Yes! Part of our mission is to educate and promote accessible design everywhere. Stay tuned for our TACcess DIY kits and associated documentation, instruction videos and workshops. We hope to encourage caregivers to participate in the development of customized technologies for the people under their care. We aim to give caretakers the confidence to take some of the ideas from lab and continue to explore those ideas at home.

If a device is designed for a user in the design lab, is the user required to purchase it?

No. There is no commitment on the user part to purchase or subscribe to anything.

How long is each session?

Each session is one hour. We open with a 10 minute introduction to that day's activities.

Where are the sessions held?

An information packet will be sent to you before the session(s) detailing directions, time and place.

How can I find out more?

For more information, please contact the center's director, Anat Caspi, at caspian@cs.washington.edu.