Design Thinking for Technology Supporting Individuals With Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Developing Countries: Participatory Design for Inclusivity

Design Thinking for Technology Supporting Individuals With Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Developing Countries: Participatory Design for Inclusivity

Adheesh Budree (University of Cape Town, South Africa) and Harsha Kathard (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3069-6.ch011

Abstract

This research is concerned with analysing the value of using participatory design, and in particular the design thinking methodology, as a basis for the participative development of interfacing technology for use by individuals with neuro-developmental disorders, with a particular focus on developing economies with restrictions in budget and know-how. It becomes crucial as our knowledge expands to ensure that tools developed to assist individuals with neurological disorders to live a full and independent life are designed in conjunction with the users concerned. Inclusive design, however, is not limited to the technology itself, but rather taking into account the individual as well as the wider community in the design. Design needs to also be based in social accessibility to counter stigmas and ableism views. This study found that design thinking has proven to be an effective framework for involving individuals with neuro-developmental disorders to come up with solutions that address their needs and should be used in future implementations in order to assess the results.
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Intellectual Disabilities and Neuro-developmental Disorders

According to ‘International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health’ (ICF) published by the World Health Organization, the term disability is an all-encompassing term that includes activity limitations, physical and mental impairments, and participation restrictions, all which fall into a subset of a larger classification grouping which covers three main areas including environmental factors, body functioning and structure and activities and participation (WHO, n.d.). Mullin, Gokhale, Moreno-De-Luca, Sanyal, Waddington and Faundez (2013) specify neuro-developmental disorder (NDD) conditions as intellectual disabilities that are multifaceted in nature and are normally characterised by impairments in a large number of possible fields. These include cognition, communication, behaviour and/or motor skills. These typically are a result of abnormal brain development. Also falling within the NDD spectrum include communication disorders, intellectual disability, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and schizophrenia (Mullin et. al., 2013).

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