Dazzling designs made for and by those with disabilities

Published 5:15 AM ET, Wed February 21, 2018
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Visitors view the "Access+Ability" exhibition at New York's Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Museum running until September 3, 2018. Chris J. Gauthier/Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Some designers and users are transforming hearing aids into fashion statements. Just as eyeglasses are available in a dazzling array of colors and styles, hearing aids can be transformed into a personalized accessory rather than being concealed. Hanna Agar/Elana Langer/Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Tenuous balance, stigma, and abandonment keep many people sedentary and isolated. Originally created by the designers for their own use, Afari is a mobility aid designed to inspire people to participate in jogging, running and walking. Mobility Technologies/Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
The Sound Shirt translates the experience of listening to music for the deaf and hard of hearing into a physical and sensory experience. By embedding 16 sensors corresponding to parts of the orchestra -- violin, cello, drums, etc. -- into the fabric of a special shirt, music becomes an immersive, tactile experience. Sound Shirt is available to members of the audience at the Jungen Symphoniker Orchestra in Hamburg, Germany. CuteCircuit/Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Designed for Los Angeles County as a modular system that can adapt over time, this voting booth exemplifies inclusive design, ensuring an accessible voting experience. It addresses voters with learning disabilities, vision and hearing loss, those unfamiliar with technology, who speak languages other than English, and in wheelchairs. IDEO/Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
ALLELES Design Studio's mission is to do for prosthetics what designers did for eyeglasses. These prosthetic leg covers adorn and add a human silhouette to artificial limbs. The ALLELES Design Studio Ltd./Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Intended as a fashion accessory, the goal is to give amputees the choice to select from a large variety of colors and patterns and the ability to shop in the same way they choose clothes. The ALLELES Design Studio Ltd./Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
PillPack is a service designed to assist people in managing their medication routines. It presorts and organizes medication into pouches labeled with the scheduled days and times, which helps the user avoid taking incorrect dosages -- or forgetting their medicine. PillPack coordinates any changes in medication with the user's doctor and delivers a new supply every month. PillPack/Matt Flynn/Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
The LOLA app, conceived by Seth Truman, inspires individuals to perform routine tasks and supports social interaction through animated and personalized reminders. Tech Kids Unlimited/Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
The Chatfield Walking Cane's silicone covered handle allows the cane to be propped up and rest against a wall without sliding. Its upturned "nose" is comfortable to grip and intuitively positions the hand directly over the wooden shaft for greater stability during use. Top & Derby Limited/Matt Flynn/Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum