Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ergonomics helps autistic children

14.04.2004


A research team comprising of an ergonomist, autism expert and interactive design and media artists, are using ergonomics to design an interactive, polysensory environment for children with ASD (autistic spectrum disorders) to meet the youngsters’ needs in a way that can be tailorable to specific needs.

Delegates to the Ergonomics Society Annual Conference in Swansea this week (14-16 April) will hear from Andree Woodcock, a member of the project team, on how they plan to use the latest multimedia computer technology to engage with children in new and interesting ways.

It has been estimated that autism spectrum disorders may affect as many as 50,000 families in the UK. Polysensory environments, which often involve projecting moving computer images onto surfaces combined with sound and light, already have been shown to work with children with varying levels of autism.



However the research team based at Coventry University plan to develop this technology further by taking a user centred approach to design and development that puts children at the heart of the design process. ‘Our final environment will consist of a series of modules, each of which will be developed through an understanding of children’s needs and sensitivities.’

This in itself is problematic as the children themselves are not always able to tell us what they think. Therefore, the team plan to work closely with parents, carers and staff at various centres around the country.

A recent survey conducted by the team has demonstrated the wide variety of sensitivities children with ASD have – for example some children are extremely sensitive or show a marked dislike for certain colours, noises – whereas others will react to different things. This wide variation is a challenge for the designers in the team who have to provide an environment that will be engaging and non-threatening to a wide spectrum of children.

Darryl Georgiou, a specialist designer in interactive media, has worked with disabled and deaf, autistic children in the past. He said: “Autistic children often cannot focus for more than a few seconds but already computer and digital technology is changing that and it has such potential. There are varying levels of engagement and the idea is for the child to take control. Our aim is to engage with kids who have never responded like this before.”

The design of polysensory environments for children with autistic spectrum disorders is a three-year project funded by the Arts Humanities Research Board (AHRB). Through it we hope to show ‘that by working together scientists and designers can use technology creatively to reach out to all people in the community, and also extend our understanding of user requirements and evaluation methodologies”

The first paper from the project team - Darryl Georgiou, Jacqueline Jackson, Andree Woodcock and Alex Woolner - is being presented on Thursday 15 April by Dr Andree Woodcock, at the conference at the University of Wales.

For further information about the Ergonomics Society Annual Conference contact :

conference & marketing officer Sue Hull (s.hull@ergonomics.org.uk) or external relations officer Amanda Bellamy (a.bellamy@ergonomics.org.uk) on 01509 234904 or 07985016356. Dr Andree Woodcock of the Visual & Information Design Centre, Coventry School of Art & Design, Coventry University can be contacted on 0115 8453785. Alternatively, Alex Woolner can be contacted on alex@taoist.screaming.net

Amanda Bellamy | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ergonomics.org.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>