Starting Research in Interaction Design With Visuals for Low-Functioning Children in the Autism Spectrum: A ProtocolBy Pares, Narcis, PhD; Carreras, Anna, BSc; Durany, Jaume, BSc; Ferrer, Jaume, BA; Freixa, Pere, BA; Gomez, David, MA; Kruglanski, Orit, MA; Pares, Roc, PhD; Ribas, J. Ignasi, BSc; Soler, Miquel, BSc; Sanjurjo, Alex, BA; CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 218-223
Publication Date: April 2006
Paper focuses on the preliminary design of an interactive rehabilitation program for children in the autism spectrum who are low functioning. The authors use the European-funded MultiSensory Environment Design for an Interface Between Autistic and Typical Expressiveness (MEDIATE) project as a starting point. This project yielded an interactive environment that generates real-time visual, auditory, and vibrotactile stimuli designed to allow children with autism to express themselves. The MEDIATE environment was designed as a hexagonal space that was six meters in diameter. Several interactive interfaces were incorporated into the space, including: (1) a floor surface that reacts to footsteps by generating sound; (2) a tuning fork wall with tube-like structures that generate sound when touched; (3) two rear projection screens that support visual interaction through movement and touch; (4) an impression wall with padded structures that react to pressure with vibration; and (5) a sound interface that consists of microphones and speakers that react to sounds such as clapping or voices that are emitted by the child. The authors utilize design principles from the MEDIATE project to discuss the preliminary design characteristics of a prototype “fun” application to promote interaction rather than education or therapy. The MEDIATE project was coordinated by the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, while it was conducted under the FP5/IST/Systems and Services for the Citizen/Person with Special Needs project. This paper was written by researchers from the Audiovisual Institute at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain.
Published by: Mary Ann Liebert Publishers, Incorporated (Website:http://www.liebertpub.com)