University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
JournalAssistive Technology
Early online date19 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 May 2020


A large number of people in China have been affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). However, different factors associated with current barriers to accessing external support by ASD individuals in China have been identified. Assistive technologies are believed to help address the barriers. To obtain an in-depth understanding of the need and barriers of Chinese individuals with ASD in using assistive technologies, this study surveyed parents of ASD children, ASD professionals, as well as technology developers in the field. This study found that people in China have lower awareness and utilization of assistive technologies but similar demands for technologies when compared to those in the United Kingdom. Monitoring and informing systems, therapeutic recommendation systems and social skill training applications are major forms of assistive technologies desired by the participants in the interviews. Concerns about affordability, public exposure, confidentiality breaches and possible side-effects are considered as barriers that may prevent ASD individuals in China from using assistive technologies. The paper further discussed potential orientations of assistive technology development in China. Considering Chinese individuals may suffer intense stigma and heavy financial burden on mental disabilities, affordable mobile applications that help reduce the stigma would be more acceptable by Chinese ASD individuals.


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