Designing Technology for Children with Special Needs - Bridging Perspectives through Participatory Design

Frauenberger, Christopher, Good, Judith and Keay-Bright, Wendy (2011) Designing Technology for Children with Special Needs - Bridging Perspectives through Participatory Design. CoDesign, 7 (1). pp. 1-28. ISSN 1571-0882

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Abstract

This article presents and discusses co-creation techniques for involving children in the design of a technologically enhanced learning environment. The ECHOES project, which involves both typically developing children and children with autism spectrum conditions, aims to create an environment that scaffolds the development of children's social skills. The authors draw attention to the constraints and limitations of co-designing new technologies, which are by necessity interdisciplinary, and describe experiments with sensory interest and storytelling to bridge tensions between system design and the imaginary worlds of young children. Related work is reviewed, where children with special needs have been included in the design process, and a series of design activities implemented in ECHOES is described. Reflecting on these experiences, key themes are identified that may be of interest to practitioners and researchers who work with children in inclusive design contexts. These themes address the role of theory, the impact of technology, the support of creativity, the validity of inspiration and the design of non-digital generative tools to harness children's imagination. The article also includes a discussion on the ethical implications of co-designing with children and describes how the project evolved as a consequence of the work described.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Depositing User: Christopher Frauenberger
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:48
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2012 09:24
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/18386
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