HuskyADAPT: Accessible Design & Play Technology

HuskyADAPT: Accessible Design And Play Technology

Husky ADAPT is a multidisciplinary collaboration at the UW school of Engineering. We are focused on designing solutions to enhance quality of life for people of all abilities. 


There are over 1.5 M people with disabilities in the Pacific Northwest alone, yet many every day activities and environments are not fully inclusively designed. Husky ADAPT is a UW-based community that is seeking to promote inclusive and universal design.

We offer a number of opportunities for students to engage with HuskyADAPT, including (1) a Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) course (earn credits each quarter for designing & engineering with us), and (2) play adaptation events (maker-events in the community to adapt toys for individuals with disabilities). Below we describe the specifics of the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) course.

ENGR297/497: HuskyADAPT VIP

Work with local people with disabilities on a play design challenge
Wednesdays 3:30-4:50pm (Engineering Annex)
1-2 credits in Fall & Winter Quarters (Spring Optional)


Students passionate about co-designing with local individuals with disabilities and their care teams. VIP teams are open to students at all stages of their academic career: freshmen to PhD. Join us!

What is required?

As part of a College of Engineering VIP team members will attend a Design Studio on Wednesday afternoons to work on their design challenge, provide feedback to other teams, and learn about accessible technology design. VIP team members typically commit 3-7 hours per week for 1 credit and 7-12 hours per week for 2 credits. Students commit two quarters (Fall & Winter) to work with their team with the goal of designing and testing their solution. Please see the attached syllabus for more information and to learn about this and other VIP programs.

What type of design challenges?

Each year we work with local needs experts, including people with disabilities, to define pressing challenges. Examples of this year’s projects include:

 - Designing a “helping hand” for individuals with limited hand function

 - App-based solutions to support emotional well-being for teens

 - Re-designing hand orthoses for people with spinal cord injury

 - Exercise solutions for people with neuropathy 
 - Driving and steering solutions for GoBabyGo modified ride-on cars

 - Work with Seattle Public School therapists to customize 3D printed devices

How can I get involved in HuskyADAPT?

Students interested in joining VIP should follow the instructions on the Joining page.

How else can I get involved in HuskyADAPT?

HuskyADAPT is a student-led club that supports education, design, and outreach programs. Even if you can’t participate in the HuskyADAPT VIP there are many other ways to get involved. No previous experience is necessary and everyone is welcome to volunteer. Volunteer for a toy adaptation workshop, local K-12 outreach, or join a committee to help plan future events. E-mail Brianna Goodwin ( for more information.

How else can I learn about accesible technology?

Students who want to learn more about accessible technology and disability studies can also sign up for CSE490D: Introduction to Accessible Technology & Participatory Design which is before the VIP Design Studio, Wednesdays from 2:30-3:20.
HuskyADAPT is a collaboration between the CS&E Taskar Center for Accessible Technology, ME Ability & Innovation Lab, and Bioengineering Outreach.