Teaching

At the end of a conference table, an attendee focuses and holds their soldering iron, while Lauren Race observes.

Teaching


I teach curricula on accessibility design in industry and academia, informed by my work at the NYU Ability Project and IAAP certification. I’ve taught at places such as New York University, Hunter College, and the Maryland School for the Blind.

A room full of attendees to NYCML sit around tables, while myself is standing in front of the room holding up microcapsule paper and explaining what it is.

Curricula


Multisensory Design Course

10.20.2022 – 12.8.2022
NYU ITP

In this class, we’ll take a multisensory approach to design that makes interfaces more inclusive and accessible to everyone. Students will learn how to design for the senses (think tactile controls combined with atmospheric sounds and olfactory or taste experiences), while gaining an understanding of the assumptions we make about our users’ sensory preferences.

Over the course of 7 weeks, students will design an interface for the 5 senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell), culminating in one 7-week final project that includes at least 3 sensory modalities that communicate the same information to the user.

→ Go to Multisensory Design Class Website


Tactile Still Life Drawing Workshop

5.17.2022 – 6.11.2022
Andrew Heiskell Braille
& Talking Book Library

Twitter NYC

In this hands-on nonvisual drawing workshop, we arranged still life scenes using 3D touch objects. We explored tactile drawing techniques, such as continuous line and negative space, using Sensational Blackboards, ball point pens, and computer paper.

Close up of a 12 by 14 inch scale model of a black penny farthing bicycle with a triangular wooden seat, resting upright on a table. Positioned in front are two tactile drawings: one continuous line of the bike in the exact same position (plus a bonus rendering of a tiny Empire State Building) and one of a negative space drawing with the wheel spoke negative space depicted, resembling the shape of a whole pizza with gaps between the slices.
Two workshop drawings, Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library
Myself at the head of a long conference table of employees with slides behind my head on high fidelity tactile graphics. An assortment of touch objects are laid across the table.
Reviewing types of tactile media, Twitter NYC

Nonvisual Soldering Workshop

2.28.2020 – 3.1.2020
NYU ITP

Seeking to learn how we can design curricula to increase access to learning soldering non-visually, we designed and evaluated a nonvisual soldering curriculum with a three-day workshop. We developed recommendations for future workshops: provide tactile and textual instruction and standardize materials.

A long conference table, full of attendees, is set up with individual soldering stations with soldering irons, fans, vices, and soldering mats. In the foreground one attendee guides another's hand across their circuit board held by a vice at their soldering station.

→ Go to Soldering Workshop Details


Nonvisual Arduino Workshop

12.19.2019
Andrew Heiskell Braille
& Talking Book Library

Wanting to learn how to support teaching electronics to Blind and Low Vision learners, we taught a nonvisual Arduino workshop which revealed the complexities of designing textual descriptions and tactile graphics for Blind Arduino workflows. The findings led to design recommendations for future research to design accessible materials to teach electronics. 

Overhead view of a tactile component diagram of a piezo. On the far left is a small, black piezo buzzer glued to the page. Next to it is an enlarged tactile graphic of a piezo with the anode and cathode labeled. On the far right is an industry symbol of a piezo: a semicircle with two parallel pins extruding from the rounded edge of the semicircle.

→ Go to Arduino Workshop Details


Museum Accessibility Design Course

1.30.2020 – 5.7.2020
New York University

Co-taught course with Dr. Amy Hurst and Dr. Anita Perr, led reading discussion sessions, assisted with homework assignments and grading, and mentored final project for team that addressed accessibility of artifacts behind glass.

→ Go to Museum Accessibility Class Website


Intro to Tactile Design Workshop

08.22.2019 – 1.29.2020
A11y NYC
frog
NYC Media Lab Summit 2019
NYU DesignLab
Hunter College

Promoted inclusive design and accessibility awareness by framing tactile design as a useful collaborative tool and use case, provided hands-on experience by inviting attendees to design and produce their own tactile designs using microcapsule paper and a fuser.

Lauren Race standing in front of a microphone to the left of a projected slide about when to make tactile graphics that reads: "Tactile Graphics. Object unavailable (the stars), object too small (insect), object too large (tree), difficult to explain (rainbow), cannot be touched. (snowflakes), size relationship needs describing (an elephant and a man). Source, Tactile Graphics by Polly Edman"
Describing the best scenarios for making tactile graphics at A11y NYC
Over the shoulder long shot of myself at frog design. Everyone has their heads down sketching their tactile graphics, while a slide on a monitor shows some tips in the background.
Using Sharpies to add carbon to microcapsule paper at frog
Close up of the hands of a group of people gathered around a table, touching a tactile graphic.
Attendees touching example microcapsule tactile graphics at NYC Media Lab Summit 2019

DIY Tactile Design Workshop

04.29.2020 – 08.16.2020
NYU Ability Project
NYU IDM
NYU ITP
Andrew Heiskell Braille
& Talking Book Library
Maryland School for the Blind

We covered inclusive design basics and applied them to a tactile graphics use case. No longer having access to NYU’s microcapsule fuser, we covered alternative tactile graphic design techniques using found materials to create Do It Yourself tactiles at home. We pressed pencils into paper on top of cutting boards to create reverse tactile graphics and scissors, glue, found objects, and hot glue to create raised collages.

Zoom screenshot of students, faces and names blurred out, holding up their DIY tactile graphics they made with found materials at home.

Talks


Council for Museum Anthropology Virtual Symposium

March 25 – 26, 2022

Designing, Producing, and Preserving Accessible Touch Objects for Museums

We shared our research developing new approaches to safely providing accessible content to visitors, as traditional solutions were being phased out during Covid-19. We defined the properties of a high-quality touch object and outlined the best practices for their safe handling, ensuring access for visitors who learn best through their sense of touch.


PastForward 2021

November 2 – 5, 2021

BYOAD (Bring Your Own Accessible Device)

Shared our work developing accessible and multi-sensory visitor experiences at museums and historic sites across the U.S. at  PastForward 2021. We discussed how personal mobile devices and auditory, tactile, and smell experiences can remove barriers to information access.


Museum Computer Network (MCN) 2020

November 10 – 19, 2020

Touch and Multi-sensory Experiences: Developing Safe and Inclusive Practices During Covid-19

For MCN 2020, we described our efforts to better understand the challenges and opportunities for sustaining and expanding tactile objects in museums through conducting interviews with 15 museum access specialists from museums ranging in size and location. We discussed the responses from six accessibility experts who identified as blind or low vision to the museums current practices.


Carnegie Mellon HCI Institute

October 5, 2020

HCII Access Seminar Soldering Panel

I spoke on a panel of Blind Arduino Project soldering practitioners about community collaboration for making and research. We shared how building rapport within Blind making and academic research was critical to offering non-visual skill-building opportunities to community partners.

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