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Accessibility for disabled students at the UC Berkeley campus is outdated, unclear, and difficult to navigate.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

2 weeks ago

RadMad Disability Lab at UC Berkeley
Join us Wednesday for a discussion led by disabled artists and advocates Carmen Papalia & Joselia Hughs! It’ll be both on campus at our lab and on zoom (link in bio).@ joseliahughes and carmenpapalia.com/[Id: A white flyer with black text and orange geometric line detailing behind portraits of Carmen and Joselia. Carmen is in the top right with light skin, slight smirk, cane, and tan brimmed hat. Joselia rests in the bottom left eyeing the right side of the poster. She has dark skin and a short afro with 2 small orange and blue clips. She wears a fur coat, thin rimmed glasses, and dangly earrings. Text reads in bold, large font Pain Series with Carmen Papalia and Joselia Hughs. In a smaller font, When: Wednesday, July 27th at 12:00pm PST Where: Zoom (link in bio) and in-person at Hearst Field Annex D-1, followed by, What do you want the wider culture to know about what it means to live with pain? What kinds of community care do you rely on when you’re in pain? Join us online or in person for a community-focused afternoon discussion examining these questions and more with disabled artists Carmen Papalia and Joselia Hughes.]#DisabilityPride #ADA #ADAAnniversary #DisabilityJustice #DisabilityRights #pain #chronicpain See MoreSee Less

3 months ago

RadMad Disability Lab at UC Berkeley
The lab has more exciting news! Congratulations to our wonderful lab manager, @nate.tilton, the 2022 recipient of the prestigious Assoc of People w/Disabilities] Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award..Image description: Award announcement post with light blue/purple background. Text reads: “Congratulations Nate, our show stopping lab manager!!, Nate is the recipient of the 2022 AAPD’s Paul G Hearne emerging leader award for his work with the veterans independent research Organization (VIRO) with Chun Yu (Chris) Wan, and Celebrate our incredible lab manager and at the Association of People w/ Disabilities Gala Thursday, April 28 at 3:30 PM PDT (link it Assoc of People w/Disabilities] bio)”. There are 2 pictures of Nate Tilton, one outside with trees and grass behind him and his yellow lab, Starlyn, laying her nose on his knee. He is smiling with dark black hair, sunglasses, and a black hoodie. The other picture is inside the lab, with Nate demo-ing something on a laptop. There is a speakerphone outline in the bottom left, followed by AAPD (the American Association of People with Disabilities)’s logo, and colorful balloons in the bottom right See MoreSee Less

4 months ago

RadMad Disability Lab at UC Berkeley
Here is a quick glance at one of the teams that will be at this semester’s showcase! In collaboration with the Leonardo CripTech’s own fellows, Moira Williams, meet a few of the members on Team Water-Access Intimacies: Jeanne, Julie, and Eleanor! This project explores how ecologies of access intimacy and water intimacy inform and shape policies of accessible ways to the water, through co-creating an accessible mobile water-lab. #disability..[slide 1 Image Description]: A light blue background with water on the corners of a graphic shows a member intro of Eleanor Mayes, on Team Water-Access Intimacies. Text reads: 1st year graduate student, mastering in design. Pronouns: she/her/hers. Answering the question, “What makes the lab special?” She states, “Everyone is super passionate and driven. It’s really nice to be in an accepting and up-to-date community.” A picture of Eleanor is on the left with short dark brown hair, circle glasses, smiling...[slide 2 Image Description]: A light blue background with water on the corners of a graphic shows a member intro of lead Jeanne Peabody, on Team Water-Access Intimacies. Text reads: Senior majoring in conservation and resource studies, public health, and minoring in disability studies. Pronouns: she/her/hers or they/them. Answering the question, “What makes the lab special?” She states, “A disability centered maker space is my dream come true! Design has always been a passion of mine but I didn’t have all the tools/language.ideas/guidance for access before the lab.” A picture of Jeanne is on the left with shoulder length dark brown hair, smiling in front of a grassy field and blue sky...[slide 3 Image Description]: A light blue background with water on the corners of a graphic shows a member intro of Julie Wang, on Team Water-Access Intimacies. Text reads: Sophomore majoring in energy engineering. Pronouns: she/her/hers. Text then reads: “Fun fact about Julie!” She states: “I love eating fruits and I eat them religiously.” A picture of Julie is on the left with shoulder length dark brown hair, in a dark green and yellow jacket, with glasses. 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

Email: disabilitylab@berkeley.edu

Lab Location: Hearst Annex D-1

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