The Design for Everyone: Bridging the Gap between Desirable Designs and Accessibility short course promotes lived-experience-focused co-design, encouraging participants to go beyond textbook learning and make genuine interpersonal connections that inform the end-to-end design process. You will be given the opportunity to partner and work alongside people with lived experience of disability and neurodiversity to develop assistive products and services that delight and are desired. You will take advantage of the knowledge and resources in the world-leading Creative Robotics Lab and National Facility for Human-Robot Interaction Research to co-design and develop ideas that are user-centred every step of the way.


Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture


Art and Design

Delivery Mode



31 July 2023


3-7 weeks



Time commitment

75-150 hours

What will I learn?

You will engage in an ideation-to-evaluation process of design that is grounded in co-design and community-led practice. Consideration of the individuals at the centre of your work will inform your designs to support the social factors at play in assistive technology, moving beyond the medical model of disability often applied in clinical products and services. Instead, this strengths-based approach to designing with (not for) people with lived experience will help translate your novel designs into desirable assistive technologies that recognise and embrace unique ways of experiencing and being in the world. 

The course will be split into 2 parts.

  • Part 1: Co-design of assistive technologies led by people with lived experience of disability
    In this part of the course, we look closely at how to create safe spaces and build relationships for genuine co-design alongside people with lived experience of disability. We will show you how to have courageous conversations with a range of experts and peers, which will inspire and inform your assistive technology prototype designs. You will have access to state of the art rapid prototyping resources and design workshops, where you will be supported in developing ideas that reflect a social model of disability in the design of assistive technology.
  • Part 2: Creating welcoming spaces for testing and evaluation of assistive technologies
    Building upon your prototypes and foundational work from the first part of the course, we now turn our attention to testing, evaluating and iterating on these ideas. Importantly, we will continue working with those we are designing with, including input from people with lived experience of disability in the planning and design of user studies to understand the effectiveness of our prototypes. We will also be joined by experts from the NDIS and assistive technology startup incubators, to consider how these concepts might be taken to market in a commercial context.

Course content will address:

  • understanding the role of assistive technologies across the lifespan of a user 
  • using the social model of disability to inform the design of assistive technology
  • importance of human-centred and community-led practice for inclusive design 
  • strengths-based approach to design ideation 
  • rapid prototyping for ongoing feedback with stakeholders 
  • designing user testing that widens inclusion and care. 

Participants will be given access to the resources available in the world-leading Creative Robotics Lab and National Facility for Human-Robot Interaction Research. The offering can be taken across both facilities as a 6 UOC course, or as a stackable 3 UOC micro-credential that will deepen your understanding of co-design (Creative Robotics Lab) or inclusive user testing (National Facility for Human-Robot Interaction Research).

How will I learn?

This course will alternate between face-to-face and online delivery. Face-to-face classes will be held at ’s School of Art and Design in Paddington, Sydney.

Each module includes a guest lecture from industry experts in a range of fields related to assistive technology. Face-to-face classes are an opportunity to work alongside people with lived experience of disability. 

The course is split into 2 parts:

  • Part 1: Co-design of assistive technologies led by people with lived experience of disability
  • Part 2: Creating welcoming spaces for testing and evaluation of assistive technologies.

Each part will conclude with an assessment.

There are 2 registration options you can choose from:

  • Part 1 only (3UOC)

Part 1 will run for 3 weeks with a total time commitment of 75 hours. It includes 16 hours of course delivery via face-to-face or online classes. The remaining hours will be self-driven study.  

Part 1 will comprise of Modules 1 to 4.

  • Part 1 and 2 (6UOC)

Part 1 and 2 will run for 6-7 weeks with a total time commitment of 150 hours. It includes 32 hours of course delivery via face-to-face or online classes. The remaining hours will be self-driven study.

Parts 1 and 2 will comprise of Modules 1 to 8.

Class schedule:

  • Module 1: 31 July 2023 | Online
  • Module 2: 05 August 2023 | Face-to-face
  • Module 3: 07 August 2023 | Online
  • Module 4: 12 August 2023 | Face-to-face


  • Module 5: 21 August 2023 | Online
  • Module 6: 26 August 2023 | Face-to-face
  • Module 7: 28 August 2023 | Online
  • Module 8: 02 September 2023 | Face-to-face


  • Evaluation: 14 September 2023 (TBC) | Face-to-face 

Face-to-face classes will run from 10am to 2pm AEST.

Who should take this course?

Anyone with an interest in assistive technology, products, services and related areas of co-design for people with a disability.

Industry practitioners including (but not limited to) support workers, designers, engineers, and therapists.

As a faculty, we are committed to ensuring our short courses are accessible to individuals or groups who are experiencing financial disadvantage. Discounted registration prices are available. Please contact the ADA Short Courses team via email at if you would like to discuss discount rates. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case bases.

Who is leading this course?

Dr. Scott Brown

Dr Scott Brown is a Lecturer at in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture, using interactive technologies and human-centred design approaches to work with neurodiverse populations. Based in the School of Art & Design, Scott brings a UX and media arts perspective to inclusive design and assistive technology. His teaching and research practices examine creative implementations of embodied and sensory interaction and the value of accessible technology in eliciting social engagement between people.

Scott leads the assistive technology research focus of the Creative Robotics Lab, where he developed responsive sensory spaces for facilitating conversation between autistic children and their parents. He also investigated methods of using social robots in therapeutic and educational contexts. Community-led and co-design is central to his teaching and research, and he regularly engages with external partners and institutions for both activities. Through Scott’s research, he has led the inaugural Autism MeetUp event ( Art & Design) and established the Neurodiversity + Embodiment group for researchers collaborating in interdisciplinary approaches to advocating for neurodiverse communities.

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