SCAFFOLDing all abilities into makerspaces: a design framework for universal, accessible and intersectionally inclusive making and learning

Joo Young Seo, Gabriela T. Richard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: In response to the underexplored need for holistically inclusive makerspaces for learning, we put propose the “SCAFFOLD” framework, which considers equity, inclusion and accessibility in the design of spaces and activities for socioculturally diverse learners. Design/methodology/approach: This paper proposes a universal design (UD) framework that is intersectionally inclusive for learners with diverse needs in makerspaces and maker activities. This paper provides conjecture mapping to put forth theoretical and empirical arguments for the design of holistically inclusive makerspaces that consider gender equity and cultural inclusivity, as well as accessibility for diverse learners with divergent and unique abilities and dis/abilities. Findings: Combining related literature and three existing UD frameworks (i.e. UD, web accessibility and UD for learning) and prior research on equity and inclusivity in making, this paper proposes the integration of eight principles, which leverage individuals’ diverse abilities to become agentic makers: simplicity, collaboration, accessibility, flexibility, fail-safe, object-oriented, linkability and diversity. Research limitations/implications: Researchers who have implemented conjecture maps (Lee et al., 2018) have found them to be useful for developing theory and learning designs grounded in research and practice. However, it should be noted that design research is iterative and contextual, and conjecture maps are effective in providing visibility and rigor, but are meant to be flexible and responsive to changes in context (Lee et al., 2018; Sandoval, 2014). Originality/value: This paper provides practical guidelines and principles for researchers, educators, instructional designers and product developers to assess and redesign makerspaces and activities that are intersectionally and universally inclusive, equitable and accessible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-815
Number of pages21
JournalInformation and Learning Science
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Nov 17 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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