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Participatory technology design for autism and cognitive disabilities: a narrative overview of issues and techniques.

Robb, Nigel; Doyle, Brian; Politis, Yurgos ; Newbutt, Nigel; Hung Jen, Kuo; Sung, Connie

Authors

Nigel Robb

Brian Doyle

Yurgos Politis

Nigel Newbutt Nigel.Newbutt@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Digital Education

Kuo Hung Jen

Connie Sung



Abstract

Abstract. Participatory design (PD) refers to the involvement of users in the design and development
process. Those who may be identified as eventual users of such technology are often involved in the
development process as testers or as informants. However, PD aims to transform this user
involvement, allowing users to contribute ideas and influence the design of the resulting software
product or service. PD therefore is not simply motivated by, or concerned with, the extent to which
user involvement may improve the quality of technology. Rather, it is also concerned with the
ethical and political dimensions of increased user participation. This combined focus on the quality
of outcome and empowerment through participation in the process of design has attracted the
interest of developers of technology for people with autism and other neurodevelopmental
disabilities (NDDs). In addition to the obvious benefit of improving software quality (e.g., by being
aware of the unique requirements of such populations), researchers now also recognise that PD may
help to improve inclusion and well-being for people with NDDs. Indeed, it is recognised that PD can
help ensure that the rights of these individuals, both in terms of their right full societal participation
and access to the technology that supports such participation. Research on PD with people with
NDDs has been carried out increasingly in recent years. However, much of our collective knowledge
is based on a disparate body of research, with different researchers focused on different aspects of
the field. As a result, there is little in the way of concrete, practical advice for designers who wish to
use PD with people with NDDs. In this chapter, therefore, we provide a narrative review focused on
the practical aspects of previous PD projects. Our aim is to provide the novice PD researcher and
designer with an overview of what techniques they might use and what challenges they might face
when embarking on a PD project.

Publisher Springer
Pages 1-14
Series Title Recent Advances in Technologies of Inclusive Well-Being: Virtual patients, gamification and simulation
Book Title Recent Advances in Technologies of Inclusive Well-Being: Virtual patients, gamification and simulation
Chapter Number TBC
APA6 Citation Robb, N., Doyle, B., Politis, Y., Newbutt, N., Hung Jen, K., & Sung, C. (in press). Participatory technology design for autism and cognitive disabilities: a narrative overview of issues and techniques. In Recent Advances in Technologies of Inclusive Well-Being: Virtual patients, gamification and simulation. , (1-14). Springer
Keywords Participatory design, autism, intellectual disabilities, neurodevelopmental disabilities, co- creation, co-design, prototyping
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