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Technology and Autism: Developing a Framework for Best Practice in Design, Development, Evaluation and Dissemination of Autism-Specific Technologies.

People with autism are significant consumers of technology, which is often beneficial. Despite the proliferation of autism-specific technologies, as embodied in the IMFAR Tech Demo, there is no agreed theoretical foundation, no consistent methodology for design or evaluation, and a lack of evidence base to inform consumer choices. The goal of this cross-disciplinary and international SIG is to create a model for best practice in the field, addressing issues raised at a recent event [5], including: • Theoretical models for technology development and implementation • Creating autism-specific features of technology, using participatory design • Evaluating hardware and software and supporting access to those which are demonstrably beneficial • Guiding families and practitioners in technology selection Outcomes will include publication of a series of papers as a journal special issue and a free-to-download booklet offering guidance to practitioners and parents. These issues are pressing in the light of concerns about screen time for young children [6] and the rapid rate of development of commercial technologies. In future years, the remit of the SIG could be extended to consider the ways in which technology can be harnessed to provide autism support in developing nations, and to support autism across the lifespan.
Friday, 3 May 2013: 07:30-09:00
Meeting Room 4-5 (Kursaal Centre)
S. Fletcher-Watson