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    MEDIATE - a responsive environment designed for children with autism

    Accessible Design in the Digital World Conference 2005

    Dundee, Scotland, 23 - 25 August 2005


    Simone Gumtau, Paul Newland, Chris Creed & Simon Kunath


    MEDIATE is a multi-sensory environment design for an interface between autistic and typical expression. It was designed as a space for creative expression and exploration via three sensory interfaces: visual, aural and tactile. The interaction with this digitally augmented world is under the child's control allowing them a sensory dialogue. It is as much a space for the user with autism to enjoy as an interface for relatives and carers to observe interactions and expressions.

    MEDIATE is the outcome of a collaboration between Designers, Programmers and Psychologists from Spain, the Netherlands and the UK and was funded by the European Community. The expert psychology team on child development and autism informed the design process, which was essentially user-centred. The resulting outcome is successful for other user groups, but has benefited, in usability and innovation, from being constrained to a specific and challenging user group.


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