Designing clinical AAC tablet applications with adults who have mild intellectual disabilities

Gibson, Ryan Colin and Dunlop, Mark D. and Bouamrane, Matt-Mouley and Nayar, Revathy; (2020) Designing clinical AAC tablet applications with adults who have mild intellectual disabilities. In: CHI '20 - Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, USA, pp. 1-13. ISBN 9781450367080 (

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Patients with mild intellectual disabilities (ID) face significant communication barriers within primary care services. This has a detrimental effect on the quality of treatment being provided, meaning the consultation process could benefit from augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies. However, little research has been conducted in this area beyond that of paper-based aids. We address this by extracting design requirements for a clinical AAC tablet application from n=10 adults with mild ID. Our results show that such technologies can promote communication between general practitioners (GPs) and patients with mild ID by extracting symptoms in advance of the consultation via an accessible questionnaire. These symptoms act as a referent and assist in raising the awareness of conditions commonly overlooked by GPs. Furthermore, the application can support people with ID in identifying and accessing healthcare services. Finally, the participants identified 6 key factors that affect the clarity of medical images.