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Imaginative and creative participatory research in augmentative and alternative communication

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In AAC research, there are practical and ethical reasons to involve people with complex communication needs––not only in the development of devices, but also in shaping research agendas. And not just contributing their experiences, but also their imaginations.
This is never a trivial undertaking because people's creativity can be constrained by current experiences and expectations; their openness and optimism can be dampened by their current frustrations. A recent attempt illustrates this.
The method of 'cultural probes' is a well-respected design tool that seeks to elicit imaginative and creative collaboration through exercises that are engaging but often tangential. Cultural probes have never been applied to AAC. Their visual nature (they often involve postcards, maps, cameras) can illuminate non-visual issues and may also offer different modes of self-expression.
This paper––and the collaborative session proposed at ISAAC 2016––will explore the research issues that cultural probes might be applied to.


Graham Pullin    
University of Dundee
United Kingdom

Paul Gault    
University of Aberdeen
United Kingdom


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