Users’ role in co-designing products has changed: from influencing outcomes to influencing development/design; from standardizing to customising products/outcomes; from…
Users’ role in co-designing products has changed: from influencing outcomes to influencing development/design; from standardizing to customising products/outcomes; from participating to engaging designers/developers. Although this participatory design (PD) approach makes users’ role more prominent it has been under-utilised for the technological development of products for people with neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD). The purpose of this paper is to present a responsible research and innovation example, in conversation skills training for people with autism, using virtual reality (VR).
The PD approach was adopted during the iterative development of the virtual world and training materials. Multiple baseline design was utilised consisting of three participants on the mild/moderate end of the autism spectrum. Participants joined 15–16 sessions over four phases of structured conversations, delivered both face-to-face and virtually.
The feedback sessions revealed that the participants felt VR has the potential in providing training for people with autism spectrum disorders. Moreover, they thought delivering the training in three formats could enhance their learning, since PowerPoints, videos and chatbot would represent teaching, showing and practicing, respectively.
PD promotes a “one-size-fits-one approach”, cultivating agile, inclusive, responsive design approaches for people with NDDs, so that outcome meets their needs and preferences, while VR training allows for a wider implementation, benefiting a wider range of learners.
The RRI approach increases the inclusion of people with disabilities in the decision-making process through dialogue with “experts”, making their role more visible, fostering an ethical and sustainable innovation process, leading to more desirable outcomes.
In this chapter, the authors take a close look at the current discourse of food system relocalization. From the perspective of theories of justice and theories of neoliberalism, food relocalization is wrapped up in a problematic, and largely unexamined, communitarian discourse on social justice. The example for California's localized governance of pesticide drift demonstrates that localization can effectively make social justice problems invisible. The authors also look at the EU context, where a different form of localization discourse emphasizes the local capture of rents in the value chain as a neoliberal strategy of territorial valorization. Examining Marsden et al.'s case study of one of these localization projects in the UK, the authors argue that this strategy does not necessarily lead to more equitable forms of rural development. In fact, US and EU discourses are basically two sides of the same coin. Specifically, in neoliberal biopolitical form, they both obscure politics, behind either the discourse of “value” in the EU or “values” in the US. Rather than rejecting localism, however, the authors conclude by arguing for a more “reflexive” localism that harnesses the power of this strategy while consciously struggling against inequality in local arenas.