Adaptive Design Association

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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 responsible for creating custom child-specific adaptations for children with special needs.


The organization's 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 the equipment needs of the children they serve. Products produced include tangible symbol cues, customized positioning systems, and customized work surfaces.

In addition to constructing adaptive devices, the Adaptive Design Association also trains occupational and physical therapists in adaptive design fabrication.[3][4]

The ADA is featured in the 2009 short documentary Among the Giants by Cory Tomascoff.[5][6] The group's work is also featured in a short film titled A World of Difference With Cardboard. The work was a 2013 finalist in the Best NonProfit category of the DoGooder Video Awards.[7]


The organization was founded by MacArthur Fellow Alex Truesdell in 2001[8] after founding and coordinating the Assistive Device Center at Perkins School For the Blind. She is currently also the ADA'a executive director [9]

The ADA is a community partner of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville/Yonkers, NY.[10] As well, the ADA has inspired the development of the Adaptive Design Studio of the EDGE Lab at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.[11]

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. ^ Shannon, Helen. "The Board Discovers the Adaptability of Cardboard". Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Among the Giants". Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "DoGooder Video Awards". 
  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. ^ "Sarah Lawrence College Community Partners". Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Adaptive Design Studio". Retrieved 23 March 2013. 

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]