The young people of the FabLabs, solidarity with the disabled

Solidarity FabLabs in the greater Paris area at the service of the disabled

9 Solidarity FabLabs run by the association Traces devote the activities of young people in difficulty to the service of the disabled.

The E-Fabrik project by the Traces association is a first. It involves young people receiving training in our Solidarity FabLabs and disabled people.
The young people receiving training in our FabLabs use their creativity and imagination to create objects that correspond exactly to the daily needs of the disabled using the digital equipment in the FabLabs. While learning to use digital tools and develop their skills in the FabLab, the young people also create innovative prototypes. A real network in the greater Paris area at the service of the disabled and motivated to produce practical solutions!

The network includes the following FabLabs:

  • Descartes FabLab in Champs-sur-Marne
  • Simplon FabLab in the 3rd and 20th Arrondissements of Paris
  • Volumes in the 19th Arrondissement of Paris
  • Woma in the 19th Arrondissement of Paris
  • Les Fabriqueurs in Malakoff
  • Ecodesign FabLab in Montreuil
  • Pop Lab, also in Montreuil
  • Maison de l’Information de l’Emploi et du Multimédia in Eragny / Conflans-Sainte-Honorine
  • Digiscope in Les Ulis / Gif-sur-Yvette / Villebon-sur-Yvette


Sharing for creating

A new experience for both the participants in the FabLabs and the disabled people, as all of them work together so that they can understand eachothers’ needs.

Some original examples among the numerous prototypes produced:

  • At the FabLab in Montreuil, the "egg clock" that changes colour at different times during the day, intended for people with autism to enable them to know what time of day it is.

  • At the Solidarity FabLab in the 19th Arrondissement of Paris, the shampoo measure to help people with physical disabilities: Sahar had problems with measuring her shampoo; every time she wanted to use it, she poured out far too much. Karima, Elhajbi, Yasmina and Pedro created a shampoo measure that now helps Sahar to use the right amount to wash her hair.

  • At the Solidarity FabLab in Villebon, Vivilia and Tiaré have created a device to help count objects. Counting objects can sometimes be difficult for workers in an Esat (assisted employment centre) and yet it is a something they have to do as part of their work. With this prototype, once the required quantity has been placed into the device, a blue light comes on.

  • Some of the others working in the kitchen are required to cut cakes and cheeses into equal parts, an operation that can be problematic for a lot of them. Thanks to the device made by Elisabeth and Gauthier the problem has been solved.



The proof of the success of this approach is the transformation of an idea into a prototype. These prototypes are now used on a daily basis and help to alleviate some of the difficulties of being disabled. A double human benefit for this operation as the young people at the FabLabs have acquired digital and practical skills, while regaining their self-confidence and trusting in their abilities. They have thus learned to approach other people and look beyond the difficulties others might have.

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