UC Berkeley Disability Lab

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

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Accessibility for disabled students at the UC Berkeley campus is outdated, unclear, and difficult to navigate.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

Fridays mean another all lab meeting! This week we discussed the downsides of "shiny technology." This type of tech may *appear* innovative and groundbreaking, but it is often unrealistic, extremely expensive, and ignores disabled voices and concerns. These products are created by those outside the community to address problems they don’t truly understand. Instead, our lab focuses on Disability Centered Designs, which includes disabled users throughout the process, and centers feasibility, accessibility, and affordability to expand use by marginalized communities. See MoreSee Less

1 month ago

RadMad Disability Lab at UC Berkeley
New Bear Logo See MoreSee Less

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.

Contact Us

Professor Karen Nakamura’s Email:

Lab Location: Hearst Annex D-1

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