Dr Marc Fabri, Reader

Dr Marc Fabri


Marc is a Reader in Participatory Design. He focuses on the design of technology that enables people to overcome challenges, move towards positive behaviour, and generally live better lives. His specific research interest is the participatory design of enabling technology.

Marc has worked extensively with autistic university students on breaking down barriers to entering and succeeding in higher education. He leads the LBU Autism Research Lab.

From 2013 to 2016 he was Principal Investigator for Autism&Uni (link to www.autism-uni.org), a multi-national EU-funded research project which supports students during the transition into Higher Education. He continues to promote the project outputs and works with many European universities that have adopted the Autism&Uni toolkit.

Currently Marc leads two EU-funded international projects:

  1. IMAGE which builds on Autism&Uni and aims to better prepare autistic graduates for the job market, focusing on what universities can do to support this
  2. DesignMyFuture which aims to help young people from marginalised groups make informed choices about their future, thereby reducing early school leaving

Marc is editor of the Journal of Enabling Technologies and an editorial board member for the Autism in Adulthood Journal. Previously, Marc advised the UK Government’s Student Loans Company on issues related to assistive technology and disability support for autistic students, and he served on the editorial board for the International Journal of Human Computer Interaction. Marc is also a regular programme committee member for the British HCI conference and the DUXU conference series.


Current Teaching

Marc teaches modules on Creative Technology courses in the Leeds School of Arts:

  • Design thinking
  • Web development
  • Responsive web design
  • Research methods
  • Creative industry practice
  • Individual and group projects

Research Interests

Marc's research is centred around participatory design, applied to the field of assistive and enabling technologies to help people lead healthier and happier lives. He explores designers’ positions of power and privilege in the design process, looking for ways to let end users become true co-creators of the products that are ultimately meant for them to use, enjoy and sometimes greatly rely on. He employs Design Thinking methods to develop ideas that bring about positive change and innovation.

Marc has published on design methodology, the use of technology for positive behaviour change, barriers and enablers for autistic HE students, and the technology preferences of autistic people. In 2016 he published a set of Best Practice Guides to support HE students on the autism spectrum, which are available in eight languages and used widely across European universities. In 2019, he guest-edited a special IJHCI issue on the theme Designing with and for users on the autism spectrum.

Universities across Europe use the Autism&Uni toolkit, a self-help resource for autistic students to manage the often difficult transition into higher education. This includes University College London, Durham University, Birmingham, Bath, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University of Warsaw, and the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.

Dr Marc Fabri, Reader

Ask Me About

  1. Computing
  2. Media
  3. Web design

Selected Outputs

  • Satterfield D; Fabri M (2017) User participatory methods for inclusive design and research in autism: A case study in teaching UX design.

  • Fabri M; Andrews PCS (2016) Human-Centered Design with Autistic University Students: Interface, Interaction and Information Preferences.

  • Fabri M (2015) Thinking with a New Purpose: Lessons Learned from Teaching Design Thinking Skills to Creative Technology Students.

  • Doney P; Evans R; Fabri M (2014) Keeping creative writing on track: Co-designing a framework to support behavior change.

  • Emma-Ogbangwo C; Cope N; Behringer R; Fabri M (2014) Enhancing User Immersion and Virtual Presence in Interactive Multiuser Virtual Environments through the Development and Integration of a Gesture-Centric Natural User Interface Developed from Existing Virtual Reality Technologies.

  • Doney P; Evans R; Fabri M (2014) Keeping creative writing on track: Co-designing a framework to support behavior change.

  • Trevorrow P; Fabri M (2013) Running to behavior change.

  • Fabri M; Satterfield D (In press) Special Issue on Designing With and For Users on the Autism Spectrum. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction


  • Fabri M; Newbutt N (2022) Guest editorial: Designing enabling technologies for marginalised groups. Journal of Enabling Technologies, 16 (3), pp. 157-158.


  • Pesonen H; Tuononen T; Fabri M; Lahdelma M (2022) Autistic graduates: Graduate Capital and Employability. Journal of Education and Work


  • Pesonen H; Waltz M; Fabri M; Syurina E; Krueckels S; Algner M; Monthubert B; Lorenz T (2021) Stakeholders’ views on effective employment support strategies for autistic university students and graduates entering the world of work. Advances in Autism


  • Lorenz T; Bruening C; Waltz M; Fabri M (2021) Not a Stranger to the Dark: Discrimination against Autistic Students and Employees. Advances in Autism


  • Pesonen HV; Nieminen JH; Vincent J; Waltz M; Lahdelma M; Syurina EV; Fabri M (2020) A socio-political approach on autistic students’ sense of belonging in higher education. Teaching in Higher Education


  • Vincent J; Fabri M (2020) The Ecosystem of Competitive Employment for University Graduates with Autism. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education


  • Pesonen HV; Waltz M; Fabri M; Lahdelma M; Syurina EV (2020) Students and graduates with autism : perceptions of support when preparing for transition from university to work. European Journal of Special Needs Education


  • Fabri M; Fenton G; Andrews PCS; Beaton MC (2020) Experiences of higher education students on the autism spectrum: Stories of low mood and high resilience. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education


  • Fabri M; Andrews PCS; Pukki H (2016) Using Design Thinking to engage autistic students in participatory design of an online toolkit to help with transition into higher education. Journal of Assistive Technologies, 10 (2),


  • Fabri M; Andrews PCS; Pukki HK (2016) A guide to best practice in supporting higher education students on the autism spectrum – for HE lecturers and tutors.

  • Fabri M; Andrews PCS; Pukki HK (2016) A guide to best practice in supporting higher education students on the autism spectrum – for HEI managers and senior academics.

  • Fabri M; Andrews PCS; Pukki HK (2016) A guide to best practice in supporting higher education students on the autism spectrum – for professionals within and outside of HE.