In this post, I had intended to sum up my views on why AAC design research should start to involve children who are direct beneficiaries of AAC technologies.
It has long been established that children are expert at being children. Try as we might, therapists, teachers, engineers and designers can only go so far as to have a view about what children might think about a specific idea or artifact. We can’t actually assume we are any closer to creating appropriate and usable technologies unless we include the key stakeholders themselves. Saying that, the heterogeneity between children who use AAC makes it incredibly difficult to represent the views of children themselves in research without adding tokenistic contributions. So what do we do then? My initial thoughts; start small and be clear about who communicated specific opinions. Some views might be generalised, others may not be.
In beginning to explore research with children and young people, I’m quickly establishing that there is a great deal already out there which describes children as active participants.
Much of what I’ve read describes this far more eloquently than anything I could compile and critique here. For this reason, I’m directing the remainder of this post towards Prof. Priscilla Alderson’s blog post, entitled: “The missing third that skews sociology”. Here is the link to this post. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!