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Beyond autism and technology: Lessons from neurodiverse populations

Beyond autism and technology: Lessons from neurodiverse populations
Beyond autism and technology: Lessons from neurodiverse populations
Purpose – This short paper reports on the sixth seminar in a 7-seminar series entitled, “Innovative Technologies for Autism: Critical Reflections on Digital Bubbles”, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The aim of this particular seminar was to reflect upon the implications from neurodiverse communities for the development of technology for autism.

Design/methodology/approach – Presentations from key researchers and parental perspectives are reviewed, highlighting contemporary issues in neurodiverse populations that have important implications for autism.

Findings – Whilst there are many conditions associated with autism, most commonly intellectual disability (learning difficulties), this is not reflected in research. In addition, for child-based research, researchers are at least a generation older than participants and have had different digital-childhoods. Involving neurodiverse populations within participatory design sessions can address both of these issues. Understanding the context of the issues that the participatory design sessions address is crucial for developing participatory design principles that extend from one condition to another. This includes understanding when findings based upon verbal populations can be extended to nonverbal populations.

Originality/value – This paper offers up-to-date insights into how design principles from one condition extend to different conditions. Universal interaction and neurodiversity HCI are considered. This is important within neurodiverse populations, especially given the high rates of additional conditions that are associated with autism. Whilst the majority of autism research has involved verbal populations, the benefits of technology can extend to non-verbal populations.
Neurodiversity, design principles, inclusion
2398-6263
Brosnan, Mark
50d2bab4-1023-4a72-bfd0-ba93eaa124f4
Holt, Samantha
2e7568ab-3c52-41f6-b0e6-1b2e7c785ae9
Yuill, Nicola
4c5fdc06-be3b-4427-bd31-fca3b4275aff
Good, Judith
ccc78fb6-4a52-456c-a7ce-a2b28045ab3e
Parsons, Sarah
5af3382f-cda3-489c-a336-9604f3c04d7d
Brosnan, Mark
50d2bab4-1023-4a72-bfd0-ba93eaa124f4
Holt, Samantha
2e7568ab-3c52-41f6-b0e6-1b2e7c785ae9
Yuill, Nicola
4c5fdc06-be3b-4427-bd31-fca3b4275aff
Good, Judith
ccc78fb6-4a52-456c-a7ce-a2b28045ab3e
Parsons, Sarah
5af3382f-cda3-489c-a336-9604f3c04d7d

Brosnan, Mark, Holt, Samantha, Yuill, Nicola, Good, Judith and Parsons, Sarah (2017) Beyond autism and technology: Lessons from neurodiverse populations. Journal of Enabling Technologies. (doi:10.1108/JET-02-2017-0007).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Purpose – This short paper reports on the sixth seminar in a 7-seminar series entitled, “Innovative Technologies for Autism: Critical Reflections on Digital Bubbles”, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The aim of this particular seminar was to reflect upon the implications from neurodiverse communities for the development of technology for autism.

Design/methodology/approach – Presentations from key researchers and parental perspectives are reviewed, highlighting contemporary issues in neurodiverse populations that have important implications for autism.

Findings – Whilst there are many conditions associated with autism, most commonly intellectual disability (learning difficulties), this is not reflected in research. In addition, for child-based research, researchers are at least a generation older than participants and have had different digital-childhoods. Involving neurodiverse populations within participatory design sessions can address both of these issues. Understanding the context of the issues that the participatory design sessions address is crucial for developing participatory design principles that extend from one condition to another. This includes understanding when findings based upon verbal populations can be extended to nonverbal populations.

Originality/value – This paper offers up-to-date insights into how design principles from one condition extend to different conditions. Universal interaction and neurodiversity HCI are considered. This is important within neurodiverse populations, especially given the high rates of additional conditions that are associated with autism. Whilst the majority of autism research has involved verbal populations, the benefits of technology can extend to non-verbal populations.

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DB6 for JET Author Accepted version 6th April 2017 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 6 April 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 8 May 2017
Keywords: Neurodiversity, design principles, inclusion
Organisations: Centre for Research in Inclusion

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 407676
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/407676
ISSN: 2398-6263
PURE UUID: 1558ab77-abbe-4817-a7b0-1b4484e3b009
ORCID for Sarah Parsons: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2542-4745

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Apr 2017 01:04
Last modified: 15 Aug 2019 04:56

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Contributors

Author: Mark Brosnan
Author: Samantha Holt
Author: Nicola Yuill
Author: Judith Good
Author: Sarah Parsons ORCID iD

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