UC Berkeley Disability Lab

AKA RadMad Lab at Cal – “Making Better Crips” since 2018

The Nakamura Disability Lab is one of UC Berkeley’s well-kept secrets tucked away inside one end of the Hearst Annex complex. With its mission of “Making Better Crips,” the lab has been operational since 2018 and led by Prof. Karen Nakamura, the endowed chair for Disability Studies and Professor of Anthropology. The lab was formed as a nexus for disability research, media, and design in the Bay Area. It combines the functions of a purposefully-accessible and cross-disability inclusive makerspace, research lab, and teaching space.

“Crips” comes from the derogatory term “crippled.” Turning the term back on itself is a way to acknowledge the history, movement and culture behind disability rights. The lab aims to make lives better for disabled people, especially through the development of assistive technology.


Student URAP Projects

Some doors are not wheelchair accessible for students and professors.


Accessibility for disabled students at the UC Berkeley campus is outdated, unclear, and difficult to navigate. The solution is a free, open-source mapping and navigation app that embodies the knowledge and ways of disabled students and professors.

Magnetic tactile coding blocks for the blind to program a robot.


Makerspace tools (Arduino, etc.) are inaccessible for the blind or motor impaired. The solution is an integrated development environment (IDE) that does not use a screen/keyboard/mouse for teaching early learners coding and robotics.

Latest Posts

20 hours ago

RadMad Disability Lab at UC Berkeley
Show your support for the Disability Lab by going and purchasing our RADMAD Lab Shirts and sticker at the Anthropology Department. We’d love to see more representation on campus! T-shirts are $18 and stickers are $1. #radmadlab #disabilitylab #ucberkeley #ShowYourSupport [Image description: RadMad Lab logo tshirt. Text on shirt reads: RadMad Lab Making Better Crips since 2018 See MoreSee Less
Check out the latest episode of the Mad Reshuffle! In this episode we speak with 2nd year PhD student Maddie Taylor about disability, academia, and climate change!open.spotify.com/episode/6ZGpDidhXiJbNy1UYCrUrX?si=RtrCxXCYTZ2OhskjyeawqwID: Text MAD Reshuffle, Access Berkeley, Rad Cast, Mad Cast. Image is of a turntable playing needle on a CD/ power chair wheel.Listen to this episode from Mad Reshuffle: Access Berkeley Radcast on Spotify. Hosts: Nathan Tilton, El, TrishaGuest: Maddie Taylor (They/Them)Episode Summary: In this episode, we delve into the intersections of disability studies, environmental justice, and the unique challenges within academia. Ou… See MoreSee Less

2 months ago

RadMad Disability Lab at UC Berkeley
Final week vibes with the RadMad Lab! 🚗‍👥🍚🥢We grabbed lunch together at @j.bonehoard family restaurant for a pre-finals boost.🥡Recharge before hitting the books.📚Professor Karen had to head out early, but the good times and camaraderie continued! 💙 #RadMadLab #FinalsWeek #TeamSpirit #TeamBonding #MonsoonRestaurant #Vietnamese [Image description: A group of people sitting at tables with food on the table. Text reads RADMAD Lab Lunch.] See MoreSee Less

Contact Us

Email: disabilitylab@berkeley.edu

Lab Location: Hearst Annex D-1

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