ASDtech is an independent hub of research and practice on technology for autism, offering a space to autistic people, families, researchers, practitioners and tech developers to bring their diverse perspectives to the table. This is a community for anyone invested in getting the most out of technology for autistic people.
Our community originated through a series of Special Interest Groups at the International Society for Autism Research annual conference. We now circulate an email digest of news in the field - you can subscribe at the bottom of this page - and use these pages to collect examples from research, practice and the commercial sector, as well as academic publications.
We aim for our work to have an educational, clinical and societal impact. Our general objective is to study the ways technology is being used in autism research and practice with a specific focus on understanding the needs of autistic users and their carers and raise awareness for more usable and efficient products.
ASDtech was fueled by a passion to make an impact in the world of autism, neurodiversity, and assistive technology. The research team has collaborated with volunteers to build an online presence, and to reach out to the autism tech companies, researchers and practitioners.
Thijs Waardenburg is a second-year PhD Candidate at the HAN University of Applied Sciences and the University of Twente. He has a background in Media Technology, specializing in Human Computer Interaction. In the Design Your Life project, Thijs focuses on how healthcare professionals and their organizations can be enabled to support young adults with autism in creating a personalized, supportive technological home environment that contributes to their independence. Prior to this, Thijs was a lecturer at the Communication & Multimedia Design program and a researcher at the Human Experience & Media Design research group of the HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht.
Niels van Huizen is a first-year PhD Candidate at the University of Twente. He has a background in Human Computer Interaction and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society. In the Design Your Life Project, Niels focuses not so much on the healthcare professional, but rather on the needs and desires of the young adult with autism. He envisages the design methodology to comprehend and articulate ‘autistic experiences’ as valuable input in the design process. Only then, Niels proclaims, these technologies fit well with their lived experience of the technological home environment.
Sue Fletcher-Watson founded ASDTech in 2013 after chairing the first Autism & Technology Special Interest Group at INSAR. She is a developmental psychologist at the University of Edinburgh. She adopts a participatory approach to autism research and is interested in answering the questions that matter to autistic people and their allies, using robust psychological science.
The first Special Interest Group took place at IMFAR 2013 with the title Technology and Autism — Developing a Framework for Best Practice in Design, Development, Evaluation and Dissemination of Autism-Specific Technologies. It was designed to complement the existing IMFAR Tech Demo session by considering some of the theoretical, methodological and ethical issues around work in this field. We also held special interest group meetings in 2014 and 2015. The posts below provide more detail about each meeting, and you can also download meeting reports.