In this paper, we present the results of a study of the e‑NABLE community–a distributed, collaborative volunteer effort to design and fabricate upper-limb assistive technology devices for distant strangers. We position e‑NABLE as the prototypical example of “Do-it-yourself For Others Assistive Technology” (DFO‑AT) and describe three key findings: how the project does and does not meet the recipient's nuanced needs for functional and social support; how e‑NABLE volunteers' motivations compare to those of volunteers for other efforts, including open source software projects; and we explore the challenges inherent in the distance between volunteers and recipients. We also describe opportunities for future research into DFO‑AT activities and support tools.
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Parry-Hill, Jeremiah L. and Ashbrook, Daniel L., "Challenges and Opportunities in DFO-AT: A Study of e-NABLE" (2016). Accessed from
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