Who We Are

A nonprofit organization

building custom adaptations, nurturing communities,

and challenging assumptions. 

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Two women bend over a workbench covered with various tools and materials as they build an adaptation in our workshop.
Two little boys sit opposite each other at a table which is painted pale grey to match their chairs. The youngest boy sits in a unique chair with a cushioned headrest and a footrest. The table has a cutout to fit around his chair. The older boy sits on a boxed shaped stool.
A little girl is seated on a purple scooter board, consisting of a cushioned chair mounted on a wheeled platform.  The curved backrest of the chair comes to her shoulders and has no armrests.  The seat is low and the wheels are small, so her feet can be firmly planted on the floor, wide apart, with knees bent.

What We Do

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We create low-cost or no-cost custom adaptations for people with disabilities in a landscape of expensive and non-custom commercial products.

We make this happen using 

accessible cardboard building techniques in our workshop space and with the help of donors
and volunteers.


We seek to share what we know through courses and presentations about adaptive design and cardboard building, as well as hosting field trips and internship opportunities.

We also encourage schools and organizations to send motivated students for intensive study.


We encourage everyone to design and build user-specific adaptations. We wholeheartedly support the founding of similar organizations and non-profits around the world. We partner with local organizations, such as the New York Department of Education to effect community change.


Get Involved

A custom adaptation can benefit everyone: the person who uses it, the team that imagines it, the team that designs and builds it, and everyone who hears the stories.

A woman reads to a little boy she is holding in her lap. The boy is smiling broadly as he looks at the book. Photos hang on the wall behind them.
Upcoming Courses + Events

Book a session for your group today! Beginning with a virtual guided tour of our studio, groups meet our fabricators for an in-depth look into how complex custom adaptations are built as well as build their own cardboard creations. Contact tamara@adaptivedesign.org to learn more.

Virtual visit to Adaptive Design's Workshop