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Noisebridge has made some efforts to make its space accessible for people with disabilites. Here's some notes on accessibility.

For wheelchair users, it is a fairly comfortable space once you're inside. The front door and elevator may be impossible or quite difficult without help. Random Noisebridgers are generally very helpful at running the elevator.



Noisebridge's main entrance has a buzzer that for many wheelchair users would not be accessible. For someone who can't stand up, the front door buzzer is blocked by the supermarket's fruit stands. There are many workarounds for this. See Getting Here and Access Control for more info.


The elevator is touchy and doesn't always work unless someone goes up to it by the stairs, closes all the elevator doors firmly, and brings the elevator down. There's a buzzer next to the call button so you can let the people upstairs know this needs to happen, if you can't go up the stairs yourself.

The elevator doors are heavy and hard to manage.

The elevator doesn't line up very well with the floor, so a person using a powerchair might have difficulty getting in or out of the elevator.

Paths in the space

There has clearly been ongoing effort to keep paths wide enough for wheelchair users. The classrooms have wide entrances and there are clear paths to their tables.

Clutter on the floor in front of member shelves, or in corridors to the bathroom, can be a problem. The server room is very small and the tea room, a small loft with a ladder, is not accessible for wheelchair users.

Keeping clear corridors is an ongoing project. Not every area has wide enough paths for everyone, but in general the furniture is hackable. So if Noisebridge had users who had particular mobility issues and wanted to work in an area that isn't accessible in some way, it is probably fixable.

Work surfaces

There are many low tables and desks in the space. Some areas, like the kitchen counters and the power-charging laptop area, have high surfaces and so are less accessible. I don't think that means anything needs changing unless a person would like it changed.


Many people at Noisebridge worked on the accessible bathroom. It is big enough to get many power chairs inside and turn around. It is certainly big enough for most manual wheelchairs. There is a second bathroom with a door that isn't very wide, not as accessible as the new bathroom. There are no rails or grab bars in either bathroom. They could both use grab bars. It is important to keep the larger bathroom free of clutter, make sure trash bins or supplies would not block a person in a wheelchair from turning around or being able to open and shut the door.


If you need access stuff fixed at Noisebridge or would like help, definitely talk with people there or speak up on the Noisebridge-discuss mailing list. Tables can be lowered, paths cleared, machinery adapted, stuff hacked!

If you want to be helpful in general, keeping floors clear and furniture widely spaced so that there are wide paths in the space is very useful for people using wheelchairs, canes, or crutches.

Many people with disabilities enjoy NOT to be asked lots of questions about medical history, diagnosis, prognosis, and so on. Why do you need to know "what happened" or "what's wrong" or "whether it's degenerative" so bad before any other conversation? You really don't, so MYOB. There are more interesting things to talk about. Your burning curiosity may be assuaged by getting to know someone for a while, or you know, googling.

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