Adaptive Design Association

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Not to be confused with adaptive web design.
Adaptive Design Association, Inc.
Adaptive design association logo.jpg
Abbreviation ADA
Formation 2001 (2001)
Type 501(c)(3)
  • New York, NY, USA

The Adaptive Design Association, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2011 responsible for creating custom child-specific adaptations for children with special needs.


The Adaptive Design Association, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization which creates custom adaptations for children with special needs. Its work is based in part on the Adaptive Design work at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, MA.[1][2] The group utilizes tri-wall cardboard and other sustainable materials to meet children´s equipment needs. Products include tangible symbol cues, customized positioning systems, and customized work surfaces.

The ADA also trains occupational and physical therapists in making adaptive design.[3][4] The ADA is a community partner of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville/Yonkers, NY.[5] The ADA has inspired the development of the Adaptive Design Studio[6] of the EDGE Lab at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.[7]


MacArthur Fellow Alex Truesdell founded the organization in 2001[8] after founding and coordinating the Assistive Device Center at Perkins School For the Blind. As of 2013 she was the ADA'a executive director.[9]

The ADA was featured in the 2009 short documentary Among the Giants by Cory Tomascoff.[10][11] It was also featured in a 2013 short film titled A World of Difference With Cardboard.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hendrickson, Callista. "Building on Possibilities". Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Perkins- Assistive Device Center, retrieved 17 January 2013 
  3. ^ Luce, Jim. "NYC Adaptive Design Group for Special Needs Kids Set to Expand Globally". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Grants That Work: The Adaptive Design Association". Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Sarah Lawrence College Community Partners". Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  6. ^ Design Studio Ryerson University
  7. ^ "Adaptive Design Studio". Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Our Services: Case Studies: Adaptive Design Association". Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Robbins, Tom. "A Thanksgiving NYC Honor Roll for Hard Times". Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  10. ^ Shannon, Helen. "The Board Discovers the Adaptability of Cardboard". Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Among the Giants". Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "DoGooder Video Awards". 

Further reading[edit]

  • Campell, Molly and Truesdell, A. (2000). Creative constructions: Technologies that make adaptive design accessible, affordable, inclusive and fun.
  • Packer, B. (1995). Appropriate Paper-Based Technology (APT): A Manual. Practical Action.

External links[edit]