The Neurodiversity in Design research group was founded in 2017 by Yurgos Politis, Nigel Robb and Bryan Boyle. We follow the UN and EU in believing that access to suitable services, products, and technologies, is one of the rights of people with autism and intellectual disabilities, and we think that participatory design represents an exciting way of ensuring this right.

Nigel Robb

Nigel Robb is a Specially Appointed Associate Professor in the Research Faculty of Media and Communication at Hokkaido University in Japan. He received his PhD in philosophy in 2011 and an MSc in software engineering in 2014, both from Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland. His research interests are mainly in the fields of educational technology design, inclusive design, video games and other interactive experiences.

Yurgos Politis

Yurgos Politis has research interests in Physics/Science Education and the broad field of Higher Education (academic profession, lifelong learning). More recently his research focused on Inclusive Learning and he completed a Marie Curie Fellowship with the ASSISTID programme, which included a 2-year visiting scholar post at Michigan State University. His project developed a training intervention on conversation skills (through a Virtual World) with and for autistic young adults and a new Assessment tool.


Bryan Boyle

Bryan Boyle is Lecturer in the School of Clinical Therapies at University College Cork. He has an extensive background in clinical practice supporting children with disabilities through the application of technology in therapeutic and educational settings. His research interests are focussed on the relationship between children with disabilities and the technology they employ to support participation. His current research focuses on inclusive design practice and on the application of virtual world technology on collaborative learning for children on the autism spectrum.

Laura Malinverni

Laura Malinverni is a postdoctoral researcher at Universitat de Barcelona at the Department of Visual Arts and Design (grant Juan de La Cierva). Her research focuses on creative methods to research and design with and for children. She holds a PhD in Information and Communication Technologies (University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona), a MSc in Cognitive Science and Interactive Media (University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona) and a BS in Fine Arts (Fine Art Academy, Bologna). In the past, she has worked as researcher in both EU and national-funded projects, focusing on co-designing interactive technologies with children with special needs. She also has worked for more than 7 years as educator in several art projects with at-risk youth.

Nigel Newbutt

Nigel Newbutt is a senior lecturer at the University of West of England, Bristol where he is leading research on the design, development and application of virtual reality (and other) technologies used by/for/with autistic populations. He has years of experience designing and applying research in centers and schools that primarily focus on the education and life-skills of autistic people. His work is centered around participatory and co-design methodologies and often places autistic voices at the core of his research. He has worked on EU funded projects that focus on autism and technology and is currently the UK partner on an EU project that seeks to develop immersive virtual reality as a tool for autistic pupils and teachers (IVRAP 2019-2021). He is currently editor of the Journal of Enabling Technologies.

Katta Spiel

Katta Spiel is a FWF Hertha-Firnberg scholar at the HCI Group of TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology), where they work on my individual project entitled “Exceptional Norms: Marginalised Bodies in Interaction Design”. They also research the attitudes, desires and interests of neurodivergent youth concerning play with digital games in collaboration were part of the FWF-funded projects Social Play Technologies and OutsideTheBox, both at TU Wien. There, they investigated the experiences of autistic children in technological contexts, moving away from empathy and developed a concept for Participatory Evaluation. More information is available on their website at