Neurodivergent participatory action research for Virtual Reality (VR)

Millington, Elliot, Hayashibara, Emma, Arthur, Tom, Husselman, Tammy-Ann orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3206-5496, Savickaite, Sarune and Taylor, Rebecca (2022) Neurodivergent participatory action research for Virtual Reality (VR). Journal of Enabling Technologies . ISSN 2398-6263

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This paper aims to raise awareness of and argue for the use of participatory methods for the research and development of Virtual Reality (VR) applications designed for neurodivergent groups. This includes exploring why it is important to meaningfully include neurodivergent groups and the benefits their inclusion provide.

VR is becoming increasingly widespread as a consumer product and interventional tool. It is vital for researchers and developers to embrace best practices in these early stages of using the technology, making certain that neurodivergent people have the best possible outcomes.

The neurodivergent community is dissatisfied with many of the research directions currently being undertaken. This dissatisfaction arises from conflicting priorities between different stakeholders and the lack of input from the community. Participatory research brings neurodivergent people into the research process, whether as members of the research team or as consultants at key steps. Effective participatory research ensures that the priorities of the neurodivergent community are better incorporated in research, as well as enabling the development of more effective applications for VR.

Participatory methods are unutilised in the development of applications aimed for neurodivergent people. By describing their use and utility in other areas, this article aims to encourage other VR researchers to take neurodivergent people on board.

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