Developing a Voice Output Communication Aid for Children with Severe Autism:
A Case Study of User-Centered, Collaborative Design with Users Who Cannot
Speak or Write

Dan Gillette, Cure Autism Now

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University January 23, 2004

This talk will cover the challenges faced by a user-centered design team developing a tablet-based, voice output communication aid for children with severe autism. Specifically, the design challenges of conducting user-centered, iterative design where the primary user cannot effectively communicate and whose cognitive and sensory capabilities are not fully understood will be discussed. Also, a demonstration will be given of the application and the unique features that were developed as a result of following the chosen design process. Lastly, a case study will be presented of one of the test subjects and the unanticipated results that occurred in her development and the behavior of her caregivers.

Dan Gillette is the IDEA Lab at CSU Monterey Bay's first Luminary, Chair of the Innovative Technology for Autism Workgroup at Cure Autism Now (CAN) and an independent consultant in learning disabilities, curriculum development, teacher education and product design. Before joining the IDEA Lab, Dan was a principal researcher at Stanford University's Archimedes Project, where he focused on developing user interfaces for next generation adaptive technologies for those with disabilities. Additionally, Dan has held positions in counseling, higher education administration, teaching and museum exhibit design. Before getting into educational psychology, Dan had a 10 year career as a musician and composer, as well as a stint as a bicycle courier. Dan holds a B.A. in human development from the Lesley College Graduate School (now Lesley University) and an Ed.M. in cognitive science, psychology and instructional design from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine

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