Building Chairables: Designing for Accessible User Experiences

The next BostonCHI meeting is Building Chairables: Designing for Accessible User Experiences on Tuesday, May 18 at 6:15 PM.

Register here

BostonCHI May 2021, featuring Patrick Carrington


Mobile and wearable technologies offer the promise of great opportunity, connection, new experiences, and natural interactions. However, what happens when these designs do not fully consider the relationship between people and the devices they use? For example, wheelchair users often use and carry multiple mobile computing devices, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Upper body motor impairments or physically restrictive wheelchair frames may limit wheelchair users’ ability to interact with these devices. Designing technology for wheelchair users requires constant negotiation between the user’s needs, technological and functional constraints, and context. My research aims to support a broad range of people with diverse abilities as they interact with the world and people around them. I use Chairables to conceptualize the design approach that leverages the affordances of wheelchairs for mobile interaction. Our ongoing research aims to support and empower people with disabilities as they engage in a range of activities, including mobility, social interactions, and competitive sports.


Patrick Carrington is an Assistant Professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and his research emphasizes the design of systems to support people with diverse abilities. He studies mobile and wearable technology, builds assistive devices, and explores how to create experiences that support empowerment, independence, and improved quality of life. His current projects span topics including accessing digital content and media, transportation and mobility, and developing technologies for athletes with disabilities.

Schedule – EST (UTC-5)

6:15 – 6:30: Networking (via Miro)

6:30 – 7:30: Presentation

7:30 – 8:00: Q & A