Accessibility of Tactile Experience for the Textile Designer

Marni Smyth, Claire Barber, Emilene Zitkus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of assistive technologies to support a tactile engagement in printed textiles that is accessible and equitable for all textile students and designers. The paper proposes that all textile students and designers require opportunities of access to tacit engagement and material sensibilities in printed textiles through equipping designer makers with relevant assistive devices for use in small-scale studio and workshop settings. This study reviews the literature and utilises a case study approach to address the issues that arise when a disabled design student puts into practice their learning in the textile print specialism. Through this is is demonstrated that as active players in society, disabled textile designers require equality of choice of both physical and digital processes, without predetermined perceptions leading to an assumptive use of one technology over the other. In response to debates concerning equity and equality and the impact of choice in society, the present study aims to share an individual's experiences and insights into the importance and relevance of practical and creative engagement in materials and processes in the print workshop while being disabled.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesigning for Inclusion
Subtitle of host publicationInclusive Design: Looking Towards the Future
EditorsPatrick Langdon, Jonathan Lazar, Ann Heylighen, Hua Dong
PublisherSpringer London
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9783030438654
ISBN (Print)9783030438647
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2020
Event10th Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology: Inclusive Design: Looking towards the Future - University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Apr 202011 Apr 2020
Conference number: 10


Conference10th Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology
Abbreviated titleCWUAAT
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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