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      Conversation skills training for people with autism through virtual reality: using responsible research and innovation approach

      , , ,

      Advances in Autism

      Emerald Publishing

      Autism, Interventions, Skills training, Conversation, Virtual reality, Responsible research and innovation

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          Users’ role in co-designing products has changed: from influencing outcomes to influencing development/design; from standardizing to customising products/outcomes; from participating to engaging designers/developers. Although this participatory design (PD) approach makes users’ role more prominent it has been under-utilised for the technological development of products for people with neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD). The purpose of this paper is to present a responsible research and innovation example, in conversation skills training for people with autism, using virtual reality (VR).

          Design/methodology/approach

          The PD approach was adopted during the iterative development of the virtual world and training materials. Multiple baseline design was utilised consisting of three participants on the mild/moderate end of the autism spectrum. Participants joined 15–16 sessions over four phases of structured conversations, delivered both face-to-face and virtually.

          Findings

          The feedback sessions revealed that the participants felt VR has the potential in providing training for people with autism spectrum disorders. Moreover, they thought delivering the training in three formats could enhance their learning, since PowerPoints, videos and chatbot would represent teaching, showing and practicing, respectively.

          Social implications

          PD promotes a “one-size-fits-one approach”, cultivating agile, inclusive, responsive design approaches for people with NDDs, so that outcome meets their needs and preferences, while VR training allows for a wider implementation, benefiting a wider range of learners.

          Originality/value

          The RRI approach increases the inclusion of people with disabilities in the decision-making process through dialogue with “experts”, making their role more visible, fostering an ethical and sustainable innovation process, leading to more desirable outcomes.

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          Most cited references 30

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          Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis1

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            The Politics of Talk: Coming to Terms with the 'New' Scientific Governance

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              Analysis, participation and power: justification and closure in participatory multi-criteria analysis

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                AIA
                10.1108/AIA
                Advances in Autism
                AIA
                Emerald Publishing
                2056-3868
                12 February 2019
                06 January 2020
                : 6
                : 1
                : 3-16
                Affiliations
                SMARTlab, University College Dublin , Dublin, Ireland
                Department of Counseling Educational Psychology and Special Education, Michigan State University , East Lansing, Michigan, USA
                Author notes
                Yurgos Politis is the corresponding author and can be contacted at: yurgos.politis@ucd.ie
                Article
                622867 AIA-05-2018-0017.pdf AIA-05-2018-0017
                10.1108/AIA-05-2018-0017
                © Emerald Publishing Limited
                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 54, Pages: 14, Words: 7897
                Product
                Categories
                case-report, Case study
                cat-HSC, Health & social care
                Custom metadata
                yes
                yes
                JOURNAL
                included

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