eMaking as a Pathway for Further Education: Learners Living with an Intellectual Disability

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Education does not finish with the completion of the traditional school years. Many people will continue their learning in universities and vocational and technical schools. People living with intellectual disabilities may also choose to extend their education by participating in structured learning programs that cater to their needs. This may include participating in day programs where new skills are learnt in the context of enrichment activities. There is scant research exploring learning relating to engaging people living with intellectual disabilities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Making day programs. We contend that STEM Making benefits people with intellectual
disabilities as STEM Making is a skill-building activity that engages and supports
independence and personal wellbeing. Unfortunately, people living with a disability have been excluded from the STEM Making movement because STEM Making tasks and environments do not cater for their specific access requirements. Electronic Making (eMaking), a particular form of STEM Making, involves technologies that incorporate electronics, programming or digital fabrication, laser cutting, and 3D printing rather than traditional craft making. eMaking engagement provides opportunities for creativity, problem-solving, and socialising, supporting the maker’s wellbeing. This chapter will undertake an amalgam review – a critical review blended with a state-of-the-art review.
We explore the research literature to understand how eMaking provides opportunities to learn new technical and crafting skills, provides an environment for social engagement, builds confidence, and provides practical problem-solving experiences for people with intellectual disabilities. The research uses a new interpretation of the existing research to highlight an area in need of further research – that of STEM education for people living with intellectual disabilities. We propose the Inclusive Activity Maker Model (IAMM) as a reflection tool for developing Maker activities that are accessible to all participants.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducating Gifted, Talented, Creative and Dissimilar Learners
Subtitle of host publicationImagining the Future
EditorsTasos Barkatsas
Place of PublicationLeiden, The Netherlands.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789004532571
ISBN (Print)9789004532557, 9789004532564
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameGlobal Education in the 21st Century Series
ISSN (Print)2542-9728


  • intellectual disabilities
  • eMaking

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