BETA (Building Evidence for Technology and Autism): A Delphi study

Research Study

Organization: Sorbonne University and University of Bath


Contact: Vanessa Zervogianni (


1. Who are we looking for?
We are looking for people with an autism diagnosis, family members and
people that work with or care for those and have a keen interest in and aptitude for
modern technologies. They will help us understand what is important for the autism
community when choosing a piece of technology. We believe that autistic people,
their families and people working with them have invaluable expertise and
experience to offer to a research process.

2. Who are we?
We are an international team of researchers in neuroscience, psychology and
computer science with a specialisation in autism. Sorbonne University and the
University of Bath are responsible for carrying out the BETA project in collaboration
with the University of Edinburgh, the University of Valencia and Northeastern
University. You can find links to our team members’ profiles on BETA’s website at

3. What’s the aim of the BETA project?
Our aim is to put together evaluation guidelines to help people make smart choices
when buying and selecting technology for autistic users. At the end of the
BETA project we aspire to offer an evidence-based framework to all parties involved
in the design and usage of technology for autism, namely autistic people, families,
carers, educators, practitioners, developers and researchers.
We are conducting a Delphi study, a methodology that allows experts in a domain to
work towards a mutual agreement on a specific topic. Our team is investigating what
people in the autism and autistic community look for when selecting a suitable piece
of technology. The novelty of our approach is that we treat autistic people and the
community around them as experts on the subject.

4. What do you need to do?
We will send you a personal link to the survey’s online platform. We have split the
survey into four phases which will take place this summer.
In the first phase, you will respond to open- and closed-ended questions about your
experiences when selecting pieces of technology. In the following rounds, you will be
asked to score some statements according to their importance to you and justify your
preferences. You will see how the rest of the panel has evaluated the statements and
you will have the opportunity to change your own scores or defend your previous
We hope that by the end of the four rounds you will have reached a consensus.

5. You will be offered a 20€ Amazon voucher at the end of the study as a thank
you for your time and commitment

6. Has the study obtained ethical approval?
Yes. Our study has been approved by the Ethical Review Board for Health Research
(CERES) based in Paris.

7. Who should you contact if you still have questions?
The researcher and moderator of the study, Vanessa Zervogianni, will be happy to
answer your questions. You can contact her at