DIY (Do It Yourself) Fair for People with and without Disabilities

DIY (Do It Yourself) Fair for People with and without Disabilities

4-year-old Oscar comes back the second day of the event to show Mike Lee the Mars Rover he made from Legos after seeing Mike's
Mike Lee from AARP met retired engineer Darlow Botha, who is a proud 87. Darlow wants to start a hackerspace.
Mike Lee from AARP talked to @amyhurst at the DIY Fair DC about 3D printing a new world for seniors. ie: 3D printed graphs.
On Saturday, Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Adaptive Services Division of the DC Public Library hosted a DIY (Do It Yourself) Fair in the Great Hall of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library at 901 G St. NW. The DIY Fair was a celebration of creativity for people with and without disabilities.

This event was inspired by the maker movement in general and specifically Maker Faires. Typical exhibits from Maker Faires in other cities include robotics, 3-D printing, open source computers, gaming, crafts and performances. Some of the exhibits that were on display at this DIY Fair included the first-ever permanent Accessibility Arcade @ DC Public Library gaming station, which just opened up in the Adaptive Services Division; an adapted Snap Circuits project with Braille tagging; some 3-D printed sample parts, a moveable maker space, an open source remote control robot, an open-source technology computer display, and a One Laptop Per Child Laptop.

Some participating organizations included:This event was also inspired by the annual AccessibilityCamp unconference, which has been held at the library since 2009.  Unconferences are participant-driven meetings that try to avoid the high fees, sponsored presentations and top-down organization of conventional conferences by being mostly self-organized.

We hope to continue this energy by starting a monthly meet-up at the library on the topic of accessible maker spaces in libraries.  

If you have questions about this event, please contact co-organizers Phil Shapiro at or Patrick Timony at  You can also contact the Adaptive Services Division at or by telephone at 202-727-2142.

Some photographs of this and some of our other adaptive technology events this fall are included here:
Venetia Demson, head of Adaptive Services, talks to young attendees about adaptive library services
A young attendee makes a breakthrough on a colorful hand manipulation puzzle