Widening participation in technology design: a review of the involvement of children with special educational needs and disabilities

Laura Benton, Hilary Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents a review of the design methods and techniques that have been used to involve children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in the technology design process. Situating the work within the established child-computer interaction research sub-field of participatory design, we examine the progress that has been made in relation to the participation of this specific child population. An extensive review of the literature in this area has been undertaken and we describe the different roles, responsibilities and activities that have been undertaken by both the child and adult participants within previous technology design projects. We also highlight the different types of outcome from this previous work involving children with SEND, exploring the impact the children's participation has had on both the resulting technology as well as the impact on the child participants themselves. Finally we conclude this review with a set of reporting recommendations for technology designers and researchers aiming to involve this population in future technology design projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-40
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Child-Computer Interaction
Publication statusPublished - May 2015



  • Children
  • Disabilities
  • Participatory design
  • Special educational needs
  • Technology design process

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