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Mobile phone application supporting children with special needs
Children with special needs who have developmental disorders (e.g., autism, learning disorders) or intellectual disabilities require help in areas such as understanding time, communicating, developing insight, and handwriting, due to brain function problems. In Japan, there are about 600,000 children with special needs in ordinary schools/classes (accounting for 6.3%); the number rises to about 700,000 if children enrolled in special needs schools/classes are included. Fujitsu worked on development, demonstration and popularization of a mobile phone application to support children with special needs, their teachers, and guardians, in collaboration with the Sakai Laboratory, Faculty of Education, Kagawa University, which works on ICT-based education and support. Notably, this application is intended to support special needs children in daily life and learning with mobile phone terminals, which are popularly used ICT devices.
It is not hard to imagine that, in the field of developmental disorders that have not been fully recognized in Japan, Fujitsu struggled with an experimental approach to developing an application employing communication design techniques. In this context, the role of design is to identify problems in communications. In this project, Fujitsu worked with an expert to refine the design based on a down-to-earth method — conducting demonstrations with specific interface designs. We highly evaluated Fujitsu's serious efforts in the field of developmental disorders to provide solutions based on design techniques.
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