Latest Posts

Lab members Cameron Johnson and Mark Williams Jr. getting interviewed by PBS'S Cat Wise.

— FEBRUARY 23, 2023

Last semester, the RadMadLab was featured on PBS NewsHour! The segment highlights the lab’s overall mission, as well as some of our previous and current projects.

Click here to continue reading

— OCTOBER 28, 2022

The Thursday morning Plenary Session of the College Autism Summit 2022 was an employer panel of companies hiring neurodiverse employees. defines “plenary” as the most important session of the day “attended by all participants in a conference.” ie: some impactful words of wisdom were expected. But…Continue Reading →

Hari Srinivasan wearing a Berkeley t-shirt

Hari Srinivasan On A Non-Speaking Autistic at RadMad Lab
— December 12, 2021

I first heard about the Berkeley Disability Lab when I’d asked Prof Karen Nakamura for comments for an article I was writing. At that time she’d mentioned her lab and invited me to come visit.

The idea of a disability lab here at Cal intrigued me to no end. I wondered why I, as a person with a disability (autism), had not heard of it before. I came to the conclusion that like some of the disability-related resources at Cal, either you find it by accident or you graduate Cal without learning of its existence. The lab, started in 2018, was another well-kept secret much like the existence of disability student organizations or even autism student organizations on campus…Continue Reading →

Respirator In-Progress Contraption
Respirator In-Progress Contraption

Summer RadMad Lab Update
— July 29, 2021

We’ve been busy all summer working on four main projects:

1) Creating an emergency respirator to aid breathing and air filtration during fire season. We’re working on a do-it-yourself tutorial to enable folks to make these respirators at home and for cheap. Watch this space!

2) Accessibility and art. Working on tools to enable art pieces to be accessible to all senses. This involves creation of our own art piece, and creating methods for other artists to create accessible art.

3) Assistive technologies: this project aims to create better, cheaper assistive technologies for Cal disabled students. Disability accommodations at UC Berkeley aren’t perfect, and it is motivating to work towards equal opportunities for educational attainment at a major US university.

4) Building a new website! You can find our shiny new website here: new website link

In addition to these 4 projects, we’ve been preparing for Fall 2021 and the beginning of (mostly) in-person campus life! We’re so excited for the new semester, and for new student recruitment!

Thanks for reading this quick update!

—The RadMad Lab

The latest Phi Beta Kappa initiates from RadMad Lab: Nate Tilton and Hari Srinivasan

Congrats to latest Phi Beta Kappa Initiates
— May 7, 2021

Congrats to the latest Phi Beta Kappa initiates from RadMad Lab -Nate Tilton & Hari Srinivasan. Prof Karen Nakamura is also a PBK alum.

PBK was founded in 1776 to promote academic literacy and philosophical debate. You get “elected”, not “selected.” Cool fact: Formed as a secret society, complete with secret hand gestures and all. Not so Cool: males only initially. Good news: By the time UC Berkeley became a chapter in 1898, was open to all sexes.

Emergency Prep Feedback Needed

Emergency Prep Feedback Needed
— April 10, 2021

Our Team Emergency Prep is reaching out to Berkeley disabled students to gather feedback on emergency prep equipment they’d like to see. If you’re interested in participating, click here. Thank you!

Research Study Participant Recruitment

Research study participants needed
— April 1, 2021

I am writing to invite you to participate in a research study about how people with disabilities go about navigating the world around them with a smartphone. If you decide to participate in this study, you will be asked to take part in a series of interviews which will take place over Zoom.

Topics will include: How to use your smartphone to navigate, How you navigate the world, What information resources you frequently use to gain accessibility information, your experiences with accessibility on UC Berkeley’s campus, and your thoughts on some navigation interface designers. Interviews are anticipated to last between thirty (30) and ninety (90) minutes…Continue Reading →

Happy Thanksgiving from RadMad Lab: The lab meets online on Zoom

Happy Thanksgiving from RadMad Lab
— November 26, 2020

From all of here at the lab. Happy Thanksgiving.

In this time of a global pandemic and untidy political landscape, it is all the more important that we practice gratitude. We can, as Mother Theresa once said, be grateful for what we can give rather than for what we receive.

Happy Veteran's Day: Group of around 30 soldiers holding a "Dirty Bastards" sign.

Happy Veteran’s Day
— November 11, 2020

RadMad Lab is proud to count vets amongst its team members. Thank you for your service to our country and the amazing work you do at our lab.

Lab Manager, Nate Tilton has served in different units in the US Army and the National Guard…Continue Reading →

Room D1 at the Hearst Field Annex

Fall 2020
— September 1, 2020

Our physical location may be closed but Radmad team members are back at work with some exciting projects for the semester. Room D1 (Disability 1) at Hearst Field Annex.

Last Zoom meeting for the semester

Rad Mad in the time of COVID
— May 5, 2020

With the shutdown in place due to the coronavirus, to say that we live in strange times is an understatement.

In addition to the public health stresses, the shutdown has brought about challenges unique to college campuses as many students had to relocate back to their home or other places in the middle of the semester…Continue Reading →

(LEFT) Alex, an above the knee amputee, poses joyously in a monochromatic light blue outfit and a dark blue bandana around his neck. Balancing on his crutches, he beams looking off into the distance with his dark brown, wavy hair framing his face. (RIGHT) Karen Nakamura, an Asian-American woman with short hair, holding her service dog Momo, a grey and white beagle. The photographs are studio quality.

— May 5, 2020

Check out this podcast by Alice Wong’s Disability Visibility Podcast featuring Prof Karen Nakamura and Alex Locus (aka Glamputee) about their experience of being jury members for SuperFest.

Some highlights from the interview:
● Pushing towards representing Disability 201 instead of a basic introduction of what disability is
● Cross-disability solidarity reinforced through the use of community settings
● Moving chairs, so your group is not split up since only 1 companion allowed in accessible areas

The RadMad Lab crew

Deciding on Projects
— February 12, 2020

Today’s RadMad meeting discussed the projects that the lab would focus on for the semester and who would join which team. More details coming up soon.

Lab meeting at the Hearst Annex D1

RadMad Lab is Back
— February 5, 2020

RadMad Lab is Back! First meeting today of the semester with continuing and new URAPers. RadMad is a very unique maker space lab on campus!! Cal students, consider joining the lab as a URAPer if you have an interest in hacking low-cost disability solutions. To our readers/followers outside Cal, we welcome suggestions and ideas.

Corbett O'Toole

Corbett O’Toole on the Trails and Travails of the Wheelchair User
— December 13, 2019

Corbett Joan O’Toole is a queer elder in disability communities, writer, publisher at Reclamation Press, public speaker, and artist. For over 40 years, she has focused on issues of importance to disabled women and queers. She is a sought-after speaker available for virtual presentations.

All wheelchair joysticks are powered by electrical circuits which means that any contact with water will kill the circuits. The water can be from any source such as water spilled using the sink, from garden sprinklers, from people washing their cars, and of course the rain…Continue Reading →

Happy Holidays from RadMad Lab

Happy Holidays!
— December 12, 2019

Professor Karen Nakamura talks to the RadMad Lab students

The Nakamura Disability Lab @ CAL
— DECEMBER 2, 2019

The Nakamura Disability Lab is one of UC Berkeley’s well-kept secrets tucked away inside one end of the Hearst Annex complex. With its mission of “Making Better Crips,” the lab has been operational since 2018 and led by Prof. Karen Nakamura who is the endowed chair for Disability Studies and Professor of Anthropology.

The group of student URAPers (Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program) at the lab include lab manager Nate Tilton and URAP researchers Olivia Cheng, Gloria Kunder, Irlanda Gonzalez, Josh Lavine, Chris Moreno, Ewan Seo, Mimi Shalf, Hari Srinivasan, Enrico Cruvinel, Christian Leycam, and Kristie DiepContinue Reading →