Using technology to engage pre-verbal children and adults

Dr Wendy Keay-Bright, Ann Harber and Katie Nurse

Centre for Applied Research in Inclusive Arts and Design (CARIAD) / Surrey and Borders NHS Trust

Dr Wendy Keay-Bright
Dr Wendy Keay-Bright is an award winning designer with over two decades of experience in the area of interaction, animation and moving image design, including teaching, research and development, project management, knowledge transfer and public engagement. She is Design Director at Cariad Interactive and Director of the Centre for Applied Research in Inclusive Arts and Design (CARIAD) at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Wendy’s practice-led, action research projects been collaborations with some of the most heard to reach populations, many of whom experience profound anxiety and do not communicate using verbal language. She has pioneered a variety of methods for co-creation, including role play, performing and prototyping, in order to discover novel ideas for interaction. The resulting software has a strong visual identify, supporting concentration and creative exploration. Her projects, ReacTickles®, ReacTickles Magic and Somantics have delighted audiences worldwide, leading to free software, Apps, resources and research that demonstrates the impact of inclusion and playfulness in design innovation. Since winning her first NESTA Award in 2005 she has accessed significant funding for projects that raise awareness of the abilities of marginalised groups. Her current project, Somability, has enabled adults with profound disabilities, to develop new skills and confidence in dance, their improvisational pieces have been performed in several prestigious arts venues. Another new project, Somatopia, is pioneering inclusive design methods for novice programmers. Wendy has published her work internationally, she also regularly volunteers for inclusive theatre and dance projects.

Ann Harber
Ann is 55 years old. She has diagnoses of Autism and severe learning disabilities. Since 2011 Ann has been using iPads, touch screen computers, interactive whiteboard and lower tech laminated pictures to enhance and expand her ability to communicate and interact with others. This conference will be the third time Ann has presented in public. Ann also enjoys swimming, shopping and spending time with her family. Ann was invited to take part in an advisory panel for the newly started National Autism Project earlier this year. Ann lives in a Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust residential home with six other people.

Katie Nurse
Katie is 42 years old. Katie has been working with Ann since September 2010 and is her keyworker. During 2011 Ann and Katie started work on a communication and interaction project using iPads, touch screen PC’s, interactive whiteboard and low tech laminated pictures. These aids have meant an increase in what Ann can easily communicate and express to others. This is the third conference Ann and Katie have presented at together. Katie also spoke at the National Autistic Society Professional Conference in March 2013. Katie achieved a distinction on a Masters in Education Autism (adults) with the University of Birmingham in 2013 and has won two awards for this work.


In the first part of the workshop, Wendy will invite audiences to experience the sense of movement as an open dialogue that could be shared with anyone. Beginning with self-awareness using interactive call and response... [ view full abstract ]


R9 » Workshop (10:00 - Sunday, 18th September, Sidlaw Auditorium)