Empowering young adults on the autistic spectrum: Reframing assistive technology through design

Jelle van Dijk, Melina Kopke, Niels van Huizen, Loes van Uffelen, Laura Beunk

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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    Abstract

    Increasingly, assistive technologies are designed to ‘empower’ people with cognitive and social challenges. But what does it mean to say technology
    empowers? In a four-year participatory Research-through-Design project we addressed this question. Eleven autistic young adults participated in designing MyDayLight: an IoT system supporting self-management of domestic activities. Contextual inquiry, co-design, design reflection, prototype deployment and embodied interaction theory were woven together in an iterative reflective process. This allowed us to critically address certain background assumptions that typically underly common understanding of assistive technologies. We present three reframings of our evolving concept of ‘empowering technology’:
    1) From ‘planned reminder’ to ‘situated attention grabber’
    2) From ‘supporting action’ to ‘scaffolding developing your own supportive environment’
    4) From ‘assistive product’, to ‘co-design tool in a larger transformational process’. Instead of supporting ‘self-sufficiency’, MyDayLight expresses
    a developmental-experiential interpretation of empowerment. It helps users experiment with reconfiguring their own environment, reflect on their experiences and gradually develop more grip on life. The design artifacts enabled young adults on the spectrum and their care-givers to share, question- and reframe implicitly held understandings and to imagine and explore new ways for assistive technology to play an empowering role in a person’s life-world.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
    Event4th RTD Conference: Design United - Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Duration: 19 Mar 201922 Mar 2019
    Conference number: 4
    http://researchthroughdesign.org/2019/

    Conference

    Conference4th RTD Conference: Design United
    Abbreviated titleRTD 2019
    CountryNetherlands
    CityRotterdam
    Period19/03/1922/03/19
    Internet address

    Fingerprint

    young adult
    interaction theory
    self-sufficiency
    empowerment
    artifact
    interpretation
    human being
    experiment
    management
    experience

    Keywords

    • Empowerment
    • Technology
    • Co-design
    • Participatory Design
    • Embodied interaction

    Cite this

    van Dijk, J., Kopke, M., van Huizen, N., van Uffelen, L., & Beunk, L. (2019). Empowering young adults on the autistic spectrum: Reframing assistive technology through design. Paper presented at 4th RTD Conference: Design United, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
    van Dijk, Jelle ; Kopke, Melina ; van Huizen, Niels ; van Uffelen, Loes ; Beunk, Laura. / Empowering young adults on the autistic spectrum : Reframing assistive technology through design. Paper presented at 4th RTD Conference: Design United, Rotterdam, Netherlands.14 p.
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    title = "Empowering young adults on the autistic spectrum: Reframing assistive technology through design",
    abstract = "Increasingly, assistive technologies are designed to ‘empower’ people with cognitive and social challenges. But what does it mean to say technologyempowers? In a four-year participatory Research-through-Design project we addressed this question. Eleven autistic young adults participated in designing MyDayLight: an IoT system supporting self-management of domestic activities. Contextual inquiry, co-design, design reflection, prototype deployment and embodied interaction theory were woven together in an iterative reflective process. This allowed us to critically address certain background assumptions that typically underly common understanding of assistive technologies. We present three reframings of our evolving concept of ‘empowering technology’:1) From ‘planned reminder’ to ‘situated attention grabber’2) From ‘supporting action’ to ‘scaffolding developing your own supportive environment’4) From ‘assistive product’, to ‘co-design tool in a larger transformational process’. Instead of supporting ‘self-sufficiency’, MyDayLight expressesa developmental-experiential interpretation of empowerment. It helps users experiment with reconfiguring their own environment, reflect on their experiences and gradually develop more grip on life. The design artifacts enabled young adults on the spectrum and their care-givers to share, question- and reframe implicitly held understandings and to imagine and explore new ways for assistive technology to play an empowering role in a person’s life-world.",
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    month = "3",
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    van Dijk, J, Kopke, M, van Huizen, N, van Uffelen, L & Beunk, L 2019, 'Empowering young adults on the autistic spectrum: Reframing assistive technology through design' Paper presented at 4th RTD Conference: Design United, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 19/03/19 - 22/03/19, .

    Empowering young adults on the autistic spectrum : Reframing assistive technology through design. / van Dijk, Jelle ; Kopke, Melina; van Huizen, Niels; van Uffelen, Loes; Beunk, Laura.

    2019. Paper presented at 4th RTD Conference: Design United, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    TY - CONF

    T1 - Empowering young adults on the autistic spectrum

    T2 - Reframing assistive technology through design

    AU - van Dijk, Jelle

    AU - Kopke, Melina

    AU - van Huizen, Niels

    AU - van Uffelen, Loes

    AU - Beunk, Laura

    PY - 2019/3

    Y1 - 2019/3

    N2 - Increasingly, assistive technologies are designed to ‘empower’ people with cognitive and social challenges. But what does it mean to say technologyempowers? In a four-year participatory Research-through-Design project we addressed this question. Eleven autistic young adults participated in designing MyDayLight: an IoT system supporting self-management of domestic activities. Contextual inquiry, co-design, design reflection, prototype deployment and embodied interaction theory were woven together in an iterative reflective process. This allowed us to critically address certain background assumptions that typically underly common understanding of assistive technologies. We present three reframings of our evolving concept of ‘empowering technology’:1) From ‘planned reminder’ to ‘situated attention grabber’2) From ‘supporting action’ to ‘scaffolding developing your own supportive environment’4) From ‘assistive product’, to ‘co-design tool in a larger transformational process’. Instead of supporting ‘self-sufficiency’, MyDayLight expressesa developmental-experiential interpretation of empowerment. It helps users experiment with reconfiguring their own environment, reflect on their experiences and gradually develop more grip on life. The design artifacts enabled young adults on the spectrum and their care-givers to share, question- and reframe implicitly held understandings and to imagine and explore new ways for assistive technology to play an empowering role in a person’s life-world.

    AB - Increasingly, assistive technologies are designed to ‘empower’ people with cognitive and social challenges. But what does it mean to say technologyempowers? In a four-year participatory Research-through-Design project we addressed this question. Eleven autistic young adults participated in designing MyDayLight: an IoT system supporting self-management of domestic activities. Contextual inquiry, co-design, design reflection, prototype deployment and embodied interaction theory were woven together in an iterative reflective process. This allowed us to critically address certain background assumptions that typically underly common understanding of assistive technologies. We present three reframings of our evolving concept of ‘empowering technology’:1) From ‘planned reminder’ to ‘situated attention grabber’2) From ‘supporting action’ to ‘scaffolding developing your own supportive environment’4) From ‘assistive product’, to ‘co-design tool in a larger transformational process’. Instead of supporting ‘self-sufficiency’, MyDayLight expressesa developmental-experiential interpretation of empowerment. It helps users experiment with reconfiguring their own environment, reflect on their experiences and gradually develop more grip on life. The design artifacts enabled young adults on the spectrum and their care-givers to share, question- and reframe implicitly held understandings and to imagine and explore new ways for assistive technology to play an empowering role in a person’s life-world.

    KW - Empowerment

    KW - Technology

    KW - Co-design

    KW - Participatory Design

    KW - Embodied interaction

    M3 - Paper

    ER -

    van Dijk J, Kopke M, van Huizen N, van Uffelen L, Beunk L. Empowering young adults on the autistic spectrum: Reframing assistive technology through design. 2019. Paper presented at 4th RTD Conference: Design United, Rotterdam, Netherlands.