Educational Intensive - Spring 2020

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.

Offered only three times a year, our 30-hour, week-long educational intensive is an opportunity for immersive exposure to numerous aspects of adaptive design: three days of cardboard carpentry, one day of positioning, and one day of switches/electronics. 

It's a great opportunity for those who live/work too far away to communte to New York City to attend multiple courses.


If you can't spare five days, no problem.  Attend any or all of the courses. 

Spring dates:  March 16-20, 2020

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Registration is open


Do I have to take all five courses?

No, you may take only one, all five, or anything between. There is no fee discount for taking multiple courses.

Where are the courses held? How do I get there?

All five courses will be at Adaptive Design's storefront workshop in New York City. It's in midtown Manhattan at 313 West 36th Street, west of 8th Avenue, on the ground floor. It's within easy walking distance of dozens of public transportation options. Parking, however, is scarce in midtown, and tends to be expensive. Travel directions may be found on this website on the Contact Us page. If you're not from around here, you may find our Information for Out-of-Towners helpful.

How do I register? What forms of payment do you accept?

You'll need to register for each course separately. We apologize if this gets a bit tedious. It's necessary to enable people to select different combinations of courses. Online registration opens on February 17. When you return to this page that day or afterward, you can click the registration button and follow directions to register and pay with a credit/debit card or PayPal. If you'd prefer to pay by check, purchase order, or another method, we can probably accommodate you. Please be in touch with us by e-mail: Please put "Course Registration" in you subject line. (Please do this even if you checked "Manual payment" when trying to register.)

Do you offer continuing education credits?

Adaptive Design Assn. participates in the Approved Provider Program of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Each of these courses earns 5 contact hours (a six-hour class, minus lunch and breaks) or 0.5 CEU. If you are an occupational therapist or certified OT assistant, and wish to earn AOTA credit, please purchase an "AOTA ticket" when you register. The fee is the same, but having a different ticket type helps us track participants who want this option. Within a week after the course, we will e-mail you an AOTA Continuing Education Certificate. Course content for AOTA participants is largely the same as for other participants in the class, but you will be required to do some additional paperwork, such a course evaluation form. Naturally, you must be present for, and participate in, all course activities. NOTE: In many years of teaching courses, we've had insufficient numbers of participants from other professions to justify our offering their CEUs. If ability to earn CEUs from a profession other than occupational therapy would be an incentive for you to take courses at Adaptive Design, please document that for us (send an e-mail, make a note on your Participant Info Form [which you will receive during the course], or jot it on the back of your business card). If there is significant interest, we will consider offering other kinds of CEU in the future.

What is your policy on cancellations?

PROVIDER CANCELLATION: Adaptive Design reserves the right to cancel a course if there are fewer than 5 paid registrants, as of 1 week before the course starts. In that event, we would notify you at that one-week juncture and offer you the option to 1- choose to wait and see whether other people register 2 - request a full refund of your fee 3 - transfer your registration to a different course or a different date HOWEVER, we recognize that people coming from far away may need more than a week's notice to make plane reservations and other arrangements, so we generally do not cancel even if our minimum is not met. NEVERTHLESS, before (or immediately after) you register, please be in touch with us by email: (preferred) or phone: 212/904-1200 to let us know your constraints. PARTICIPANT CANCELLATION: If you cancel your paid registration more than one-week before the course date, you may request a refund, which will be granted in full minus a $5. processing fee, or you may request that we move your registration to a subsequent date (no fee). After the one-week deadline, refunds are at the option of Adaptive Design, depending largely on whether your cancellation causes the course to fall below the 5-person minimum.

Will the courses fill up? May I reserve a spot?

Due to our small class sizes, we anticipate that some of the five courses will over-fill and we will run a waiting list. It's common that, after deciding they want to attend a course, people need some time to consult with their employers or make other arrangements. IF YOU ARE SURE YOU WANT TO ATTEND BUT CANNOT REGISTER RIGHT AWAY, please send an email to, stating 1- which course(s) you want to sign up for 2- how long you expect it will be before you know for sure 3- whether you are local (can travel to New York City the same day as the course) or will be travelling long-distance. We cannot make definite reservations prior to receiving your payment, but will do our best to hold space for those who expect to register soon. For the Intensive Course Series we try to give preference to travellers, since local residents have the option to take most of these courses year round. See the daily update box on this page for registration and waitlist status. One week before each of the courses (March 9 for the March 17 course, etc.) any unpaid holds will be released and anyone on the waiting list will be allowed to register.

Is this course for me?

The answer is probably "yes," no matter which course you're asking about. The cardboard carpentry courses are a series, so it's best to take them in order, but you don't need any previous experience with tools or carpentry to get started. If you ARE experienced with tools, the series will teach you about cardboard as a building material. It also addresses working with a group to design solutions to functional problems. Who couldin't use more practice in that? We decided to offer Seated Positioning in response to repeatedly hearing rehab professionals say they're not confident in addressing the needs of the clients they work with. After a couple of dry runs, it was clear that we needed to take a back-to-basics approach. So information that serves as review for some, serves as an introduction for others. The emphasis is on how nearly anyone can recognize positioning issues and have a reasonable chance to improve things. Switches and electronics is designed for novices, so unless you're pretty experienced in that are, you don't need to hesitate to sign up. If you have special needs and wonder whether you can participate in course activities, please know that we are good at adapting things to suit individual needs. It's what we do! Let's discuss any challenges you have and we'll do everything we can to make the experience fully educational for you.