Title: The application of ergonomics aspect and Kansei engineering in designing communication aid for children with autism

Authors: Linda Herawati Gunawan; Markus Hartono; Hany Mustikasari

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Surabaya, Jalan Raya Kalirungkut Tenggilis, Surabaya 60293, Indonesia ' Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Surabaya, Jalan Raya Kalirungkut Tenggilis, Surabaya 60293, Indonesia ' Fashion Design and Lifestyle Program, Department of Management Product Design, University of Surabaya, Jalan Raya Kalirungkut Tenggilis, Surabaya 60293, Indonesia

Abstract: Autism is a psychological disorder; the symptoms include impairment in verbal and nonverbal communication. The increasing number of children with autism is not followed by the number of inclusion schools and therapists, to the point that there is still a considerable number of autistic children with little access to proper therapy. To address this issue, a communication aid called PECS was designed to help autistic children. PECS is widely used worldwide, including in Indonesia. However, PECS have several drawbacks. This paper attempts to design better PECS media. The selected design of PECS media was 7 × 7 cm in size, and made from polypropylene layer pad. The media set was also complemented with aromatherapy oil blend. After being tested with 10 autistic children, it was measured by the time needed to pick the media. It was recorded that the picking time shortened from 48.06 to 41.49 seconds.

Keywords: autism; autistic children; communication aids; ergonomics; Kansei engineering; PECS media; Indonesia; picture exchange communication system; verbal skills; anthropometry; emotions; design process.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2016.076563

International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2016 Vol.4 No.1, pp.47 - 59

Received: 29 Jul 2015
Accepted: 19 Oct 2015

Published online: 13 May 2016 *

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