ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing | VOL. 15

A Support Worker Perspective on Use of New Technologies by People with Intellectual Disabilities

Publication Date Sep 30, 2022


People with intellectual disability access innovative technologies in disability community centres in Australia, under the guidance of support workers. This article investigates the perspectives of 15 support workers and 5 managers across four community centres on the introduction and use of technology like tablets, video games, 3D printing, virtual reality, and social robots. They had diverse views on who is responsible for facilitating, embedding, and shaping technology for learning life skills and socializing. We found technology use to be driven by facilitator's knowledge (pre-existing, observed, or trained), interests, the value they place on the interactions afforded by the technology, and organization values. We discuss how future designs can emphasise communities of users while empowering individuals to achieve their goals. We suggest co-design strategies for assistive technology that involve support workers in the dual roles of proxy and co-user. We finally discuss how broader organisational factors can influence appropriation and use.


Support Workers Broader Organisational Factors Use Of New Technologies Facilitator's Knowledge Social Robots Diverse Views Organization Values Community Centres Virtual Reality Robots Video Games

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