Mobile and wearable technologies offer the promise of great opportunity, connection, new experiences, and natural interactions. However, what happens when these designs do not fully consider the relationship between people and the devices they use? For example, wheelchair users often use and carry multiple mobile computing devices, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Upper body motor impairments or physically restrictive wheelchair frames may limit wheelchair users’ ability to interact with these devices. Designing technology for wheelchair users requires constant negotiation between the user’s needs, technological and functional constraints, and the context in which the technology is used. My research aims to support a broad range of people with diverse abilities as they interact with the world and people around them. I use Chairables to conceptualize the design approach that leverages the affordances of wheelchairs for mobile interaction. Our ongoing research aims to support and empower people with disabilities as they engage in a range of activities, including online social interactions, competitive sports, and mobility.
This seminar is co-organized with UW CREATE.
Patrick Carrington is an Assistant Professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and his research emphasizes the design of systems to support people with diverse abilities. He studies mobile and wearable technology, builds assistive devices, and explores how computing can be used to support empowerment, independence, and improved quality of life. His current projects span topics from accessing digital content and media to developing technologies for athletes with disabilities. Dr. Carrington has multiple conference and journal publications, winning Best Paper and Honorable Mention awards at the CHI and ASSETS conferences.