Design to support interpersonal communication in the special educational needs classroom

Abigail Durrant, Jonathan Hook, Roisin McNaney, Keir Williams, Thomas Smith, Mathew Kipling, Tony Stockman, Patrick Olivier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes our Experience-centered Design (ECD) inquiry into the current and potential role of digital photography to support interpersonal communication and expression in a class at a mixed special education needs school. Presented as a case study, we describe five classroom-based Creative Photography workshops that engaged pupils with a broad range of complex special needs, along with classroom staff. We further describe how, from these workshops, we generated a set of qualitative considerations for the design of digital photographic tools to support interpersonal communication and expression in this setting. Additionally, we present the preliminary evaluation of a photo-sorting tool that we developed in response. Our case study demonstrates how an ECD approach can guide an interaction design process in a special education needs setting, supporting interaction designers in understanding and responding pragmatically to the complex and dynamic interactions at play between the stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IDC 2013 - The 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventInteraction Design and Children (ACM) 2013 - New York, United States of America
Duration: 24 Jun 201327 Jun 2013
Conference number: 12th (Proceedings)


ConferenceInteraction Design and Children (ACM) 2013
Abbreviated titleIDC 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CityNew York
Internet address


  • Digital photography
  • Experience-centred design
  • Interaction design for children
  • Special education needs

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