Conference date and location: 24-26 October, 2011, Dundee, Scotland
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Towards a Framework to Situate Assistive Technology Design in the Context of Culture

Fatima Boujarwah, Nazneen Nazneen, Hwajung Hong, Gregory Abowd and Rosa Arriaga


We present the findings from a cross-cultural study of the expectations and perceptions of individuals with autism and other intellectual disabilities (AOID) in Kuwait, Pakistan, South Korea, and the United States. Our findings exposed cultural nuances that have implications for the design of assistive technologies. We develop a framework, based on three themes; 1) lifestyles; 2) socio-technical infrastructure; and 3) monetary and intellectual resources within which the cultural implications and opportunities for assistive technology were explored. The three key contributions of this work are: 1) the development of a framework that outlines how culture impacts perceptions and expectations of individuals with intellectual disabilities; 2) a mapping of how this framework leads to implications and opportunities for assistive technology design; 3) the presentation of concrete examples of how these implications impact the design of three emerging assistive technologies.

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