Virtual Reality Tool Helps Independence

Virtual Reality Tool Helps Independence
July 12, 2018
Adam Horton is hoping to utilise the VR for driving after recently getting his learner's permit. © Contributed


NOEL Cuskelly has always dreamt of being more independent and experiencing new things.


Now, thanks to a suite of new learning tools launched by Endeavour Foundation in Bundaberg, those possibilities are becoming a reality.


Mr Cuskelly wants to learn how to manage and handle money, which can be challenging for someone with an intellectual disability.


However, when he puts on the Oculus Rift headset Mr Cuskelly is immersed in a virtual world where he can practise real-life skills in a safe environment or even experience things he might not have the chance to in the outside world - such as riding a roller-coaster.


"Endeavour Foundation's Virtual Learning Environment brings education, gaming and the disability sectors together to provide learning and development opportunities for people with a disability,” Endeavour service design team member Danny Gibbs said.


Mr Gibbs is spending the week teaching Endeavour Foundation's Bundaberg Learning and Lifestyle support staff how to use the new technology programs, dubbed "Wired”, which the organisation worked closely with VR developer Immerse Enterprise to create.


"The younger guys definitely get a kick out of the virtual reality but it's great for people of all ages because they can explore a situation freely at their own pace and learn along the way,” Mr Gibbs said.


"The learning experiences we've developed so far help people to work on important skills such as using an ATM, catching the train and even budgeting.”


Endeavour service delivery manager Rowena Hanlon said the new technology was a game-changer in the region.

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