Rating tool

This tool will allow you to quickly identify the level of evidence that is available to support digital technologies for autism. This will enable people to make evidence-based decisions regarding the digital technologies they choose to use.

The following sources of evidence have been identified as useful by the autistic community, professionals, researchers and developers :

Trial version

A trial version is available. Its functions can be explored. Whether it is motivating to use in the short/medium/long term can be evaluated. It is clear how the trial version differs from the full version.

Expert/ Professional opinions

Opinions about the product have been made by experts (for example, autistic people or other people with specialist skills and relevant experience with technology), relevant professionals (for example a specialist teacher, speech and language therapist, specialist psychologist, etc.), or relevant organisations / agencies (for example an autism society).

Online reviews

Review websites and social media groups contain information about the product. Reviews from autistic users and their families have been included. People having used the product for a (relatively) long time have expressed their views. Many reviews are available for comparison to improve objectivity.

Academic/ scientific research

Academic articles evaluating the product are available. The quality of the research can be established (e.g. if it has been peer-reviewed). Articles have been reviewed in a way that systematically combines the results from multiple independent studies. Online information or talks in the mainstream media by qualified scientists are available. The academic’s or scientists’ s relevant qualifications, affiliations and potential conflicts of interest can be reviewed.

You will be asked the extent to which these four sources of evidence are available. When you feel able to do this, please click Continue to proceed.

The BETA analysis focuses on three key areas which the autism community, professionals, researchers and developers agree are key issues requiring evidence:

1) Reliability

Which is the efficacy of a product at the level of engineering. Is it technically sound / functional? How well does it work? e.g. Does their face recognition functionality actually work? Does the app crash often? .

2) Engagement

Which is the user perception of the technology. How usable, agreeable, pleasant and accessible a product is for the specific users? Its ease of use / look & feel.

3) Effectiveness

Which is the outcome of using the product. How much impact does it have to the people using it? Does it make an observable difference in the user’s life/behaviour?

Importantly the BETA analysis does NOT identify if the product is good. The BETA analysis identifies the level of evidence available for the product. The levels are:

  • Complete, which is high quality available evidence on all (or mostly all) of what is needed.
  • Adequate, which is high quality evidence on some of what is needed, or adequate quality evidence on all (or mostly all) of what is needed.
  • Limited, which is adequate quality evidence on some of what is needed, or limited evidence for all (or mostly all) of what is needed..
  • None, which is no, or not enough, evidence. This includes 'don't know', if you are unaware of any evidence.

Click on the arrow to rate a digital technology product.

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