Computer applications to special education.
This thesis investigates the way in which software for adults with severe learning difficulties should be designed. Literature from educational technology, the psychology of mental handicap and computer science is reviewed from the Author's viewpoint of software engineering. The literature review points to a need for the design of systems in this area to be a multidisciplinary activity. Four case studies in software development for adults with severe learning difficulties are described. These track the development of software systems from conception, through design and development to evaluation. The thesis then proceeds to show that technically adequate software is in itself not enough and that there is a need for staff support and staff development. Systems to implement these for staff working with adults who have severe learning difficulties are proposed and evaluated. The thesis concludes with specific design criteria and argues for a more holistic view of design within software development for social settings.