Inforte Seminar: Accessibility, Children, and Technology

Schedule and location

Wednesday June 5th - Friday June 7th

Tampere University, City Center Campus, PinniB building (Kanslerinrinne 1, Tampere) room: B2031 (SimSpace)

Map link


Registration is open until May 28th.


Prof. Franca Garzotto, Politecnico di Milano
Fransesco Vona, Politecnico di Milano Prof. Markku Turunen, Tampere University
Nancy Nilsson, Tampere University
Sumita Sharma, Tampere University
Eija Kakko, Tampere University
Juhani Linna, Tampere University


Prof. Markku Turunen, Tampere University
Dr. Ms. Sumita Sharma, Tampere University
Mr. Juhani Linna, Tampere University



As technology permeates into every aspects of our day-to-day life, the inclusion of people with special needs is vital, and needs to be addressed by the international research community. While accessibility has long been a key focus area in human-computer interaction and the societal impact has been vast, much more needs to be achieved. Further, children and people in developing regions need to be emphasized, as they are among the most marginalized groups in terms of access to information, technology, and beneficial interventions.

Our seminar Accessibility, Children, and Technology brings together experts in accessibility to share their experience and research spanning several decades across Europe and South Asia. We take a special focus on children as users, illuminating recent technology advancements and applications in e.g. virtual reality, robots and interactive spaces. We
will also provide attendees a unique possibility to take part in a participatory design session with children of comprehensive school age.

Detailed Program

Day 1 – June 5th
13:00 Sign-up
13:15 Accessibility, Children, and Technology – Introduction. Prof. Markku Turunen and Juhani Linna
13:45 Accessible technology for Children: State of the Art, Prof. Franca Garzotto
14:45 Break
15:00 Demo Session and discussion. Prof. Franca Garzotto and Francesco Vona.
16:30 Day 1 ends

Day 2 – June 6th
9:00 Sign-up
9:15 Accessible technology in Finland and India. Prof.  Markku Turunen
10:30 From gestures to Social Virtual Reality, to Interactive Rooms: What’s Next? Prof. Franca Garzotto
11:45 Lunch Break
13:15 Developing Accessible Technology, Fransesco Vona
14:00 Accessible Robots in Physical Education for Autistic Youth, Eija Kakko
14:45 Break
15:00 Participatory Design Session with Children – Part 1.  Nancy Nilsson, Fransesco Vona, Sumita Sharma, Juhani Linna
16:30 Day 2 ends

Day 3 – June 7th
9:00 Sign-up
9:15 Participatory Design Session with Children – Part 2. Nancy Nilsson, Fransesco Vona, Sumita Sharma, Juhani Linna
11:45 Wrap-up. Prof. Markku Turunen, Prof. Franca Garzotto and Sumita Sharma
~12:30 Day 3 ends

Participatory Design Session with Children

On Tursday and Friday, we will have a Participatory Design session with children, where the seminar participants collaboratively design a solution for a given problem related to
the seminar topic. The session will be guided and instructed by Nancy Nilsson, Francesco Vona, Sumita Sharma and Juhani Linna. Translation assistance will be given if needed.

As the name suggests, participatory design, is a method to collaboratively involve different stakeholders, including end-users, into the design process to address their different needs and requirements when designing a product or solution. When working on games or applications for children, children are also then involved, in some capacity, in the design process. See required reading for further information.

Required reading (for credits)


  • Druin, Allison. "The role of children in the design of new technology." Behaviour and information technology 21, no. 1 (2002): 1-25.
  • Druin, Allison, Ben Bederson, Angela Boltman, Adrian Miura, Debby Knotts-Callahan, and Mark Platt. Children as Our Technology Design Partners+. 1998.
  • Druin, Allison. "Cooperative inquiry: developing new technologies for children with children." In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 592-599. ACM, 1999.

Credit points

Doctoral students participating in the seminar can obtain 1 or 2 ECTS.
1 ECT:

  • Attend lectures on June 5th and June 6th
  • Write a 500-word Summary on a topic related to Accessibility, Children and Technology.


  • Attend lectures on June 5th and June 6th
  • Participate in the hands-on design session (see description) on Thu June 6th and Fri June 7th
  • Write a 1000-word report on a topic related to Accessibility, Children and Technology OR Participatory design with neuro-diverse children

Interested students will have the option to contribute to a research  paper (ACM IX or conference) if they take part in the Participatory Design Session on Friday.

Registration fee

This seminar is free-of-charge for member organization's staff and their PhD students. For others the participation fee is 400 €. The participation fee includes access to the event and the event materials. Lunch and dinner are not included.