The Adaptive Design Association hosts field trips, professional development opportunities through one-day workshops and week-long intensives, corporate opportunities, internships, and custom presentations.


We welcome students, teachers, parents, designers, therapists, and all who are interested in building custom adaptations. 

Virtual Visits

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Bring the team from Adaptive Design right into your classroom with our virtual visit. ADA offers a virtual visit opportunity for all age groups. During your visit, your group will tour our midtown workshop, meet with our skilled staff of designers and fabricators, therapists, or educators. Participants will engage in discussions around inclusion, person-centered design, accessibility, creativity, and cardboard carpentry. Participate in a hands-on activity in cardboard carpentry to understand basic building techniques like measuring, cutting, bending, scoring, assembly. Explore how local and recyclable materials can become chairs, tables, easels, footrests, etc. The virtual experience can be modified to meet your curriculum needs. please inquire to learn more.


Virtual visits are typically 1.5 hours.

Rate: $225

Contact Tamara Morgan at tamara@adaptivedesign.org

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Field trips and visits

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A group of women, many in headscarves, smile at the camera. Behind them are more people, a blue wall, and the shelves of a workshop.

The Adaptive Design Association is happy to welcome group and class field trips. Beginning with a guided tour of our studio, groups build their own cardboard creations as well as meet our fabricators for an in-depth look into how complex custom adaptations are built. During the tour, participants will see, touch, and try unique, fun solutions for improving accessibility. Visitors leave our studio with their own personal cardboard items, but more importantly, leave with a deeper understanding of how affordable materials, simple tools, and one’s own creativity can generate solutions that make a difference.

All group field trips are 1.5 hours.

Rate: $400

Contact Tamara Morgan at tamara@adaptivedesign.org


Professional Development Workshops

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An adult standing at workbench is fashioning strips of thin cardboard to make a small box.  On the blue worktop are bottles of white glue and a metal ruler.

The Adaptive Design Association offers one-day workshops to teachers, rehabilitation therapists, and other professionals in health care and education. Classes meet from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm and cost $250. Courses  are regularly scheduled. Please check our calendar listings for upcoming dates.

Introduction to Cardboard Carpentry and Adaptive Design

This all-day workshop is designed for educators, therapists, parents, and others who wish to learn the basics of cardboard carpentry and its application to adaptive design.  Participants will learn material fundamentals as well as construction techniques including layering, measuring, cutting, bending, assembling, and designing.  Every participant will build an individual piece of adaptive equipment to take back to their classroom or client. 

Introduction to Switches, Electronics, and Adaptive Design

This all-day workshop is designed for educators and others who wish to learn the basics of switches and their application to adaptive design. Participants will work with conductive materials, build battery interrupters and custom switches, learn to solder, assemble 3D-printed custom switches, and modify off-the-shelf toys.

Introduction to Seated Positioning 

This one-day workshop is primarily intended for clinicians responsible for seated positioning of clients with physical disabilities, but it is open to anyone with an interest. We will first identify the vital role positioning plays in enhancing performance, then learn/review the basic principles and
terminology related to seating. With that foundation, we'll go on to assessing positioning challenges for an individual and determining how to address those challenges via mat evaluation, taking measurements, and an overview of types of positioning devices for specific needs. We end with group brainstorming around positioning dilemmas faced by participants in the past and present, during which we may create a prototype positioning aid from cardboard and other materials in our workshop. Earns 0.5 AOTA CEU


Offered only three times a year, our 30-hour week-long educational intensive is an opportunity for immersive exposure to adaptive design, particularly for those who must travel from a distance. Three days of cardboard carpentry, one day of positioning, and one day of switches/electronics.  Can't spare five days?  Attend any or all of the courses. 

Summer 2020 dates:  (Tentatively) Late July

Cost: $250. per day

Intensive Course

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Three adults are building with cardboard. One is fitting two pieces together, using slots.  A woman in a red top is bending over her project and a third woman in blue is using a hot glue gun.  Other work space and a stack of tri-wall cardboard are behind them.


Two groups of young people, with a couple of older ones, are clustered around workbenches. The group on the left are bent over at least three tasks.  Behind them are shelves containing tools.  The other group watches as one of their members is making measurements on a large sheet of cardboard.

We welcome volunteers to the Adaptive Design Association through our Summer Internship Program. Our application cycle opens January 15th and closes March 1st, with notification in early April. Please check back for more information. 

(Note: During the academic year we only accept internships through co-op and participating accredited programs (social work, occupational therapy, and design) as interns must be placed at ADA four days per week.)


Contact:  Tamara Morgan at tamara@adaptivedesign.org

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About thirty people are sitting in rows in a large well-lit room facing a projector screen.  Text on the wall reads: “Building on Possibilities.”
We love sharing what we do. If you want something beyond our current offerings, please do not hesitate to contact us at 212/904-1200 or info@adaptivedesign.org.
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Online Resource Library

34 short videos demonstrate cardboard carpentry techniques as used at ADA.

Thirty-four short videos demonstrate cardboard carpentry techniques as used at ADA. 

Building with Cardboard manual
14 pages for people with experience building things but new to cardboard as a building material.

For people with experience building things but new to cardboard as a building material. 14 pages