The K12 Engineering Education Podcast
Promoting engineering education for all ages.
Teaching Accessibility by Building Picture Books for the Blind

How can you teach universal design to kids and teens? Have them build accessible games and books, according to The Build a Better Book project, from The University of Colorado Boulder. Guests Dr. Stacey Forsythe and Dr. Kathryn Penzkover develop the Build a Better Book project at UC Boulder, which provides curriculum for schools and libraries to teach people to create books and games for the visually impaired. Along the way, they can learn about the design process, makerspace technology, the arts, empathy, and community engagement. Drs. Forsythe and Penzkover spoke on the podcast during South by Southwest (SXSW) 2019 in Austin, Texas.

The cover art for this episode shows a picture book and a chessboard designed by participants in the Build a Better Book project, as shown during SXSW. Both were designed to preserve function and aesthetics even when the reader or player can’t see.

Related to this episode:

  • Build a Better Book project:
  • Dr. Stacy Forsythe:
  • Dr. Kathryn Penzkover:
  • CU Science Discovery:
  • Wikki stix:
  • Universal design, as described from the North Carolina State University College of Design:
  • Twitter profile for Build a Better Book:

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Season 4: 2019
Season 3: 2018
Season 2: 2017
Season 1: 2016

This podcast is for all the educators, engineers, entrepreneurs, and parents out there who want to instill engineering thinking into young people. Listen as we try to find better ways to teach and inspire kids in invention, problem-solving, persistence, teamwork, and imagination. For more on what the podcast covers, read this article from producer and host Pius Wong: "Teachers and Engineers Need to Talk." If you like the show, please consider supporting Pius and his studio Pios Labs through Patreon.

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