Disability and its real impact on everyday life is an abstraction for those not affected by it. Thanks to VR technology, non-disabled people can learn how to better understand the needs of people with physical disabilities.
The modern world constantly requires a lot of commitment to self-improvement and raising competencies in the digital world. Training with the use of virtual reality is an innovative tool that enables the participant to be transferred to extraordinary and unusual situations. The Activation Foundation has developed the first training in Poland with the use of VR in the area of disability. It is a modern solution for anyone who wants to convey the topic of disability to their employees in an unconventional way as part of their business. The training allows you to transfer to the world of disability, thanks to which participants can acquire knowledge resulting from the training program and verify it in practice. This solution increases the involvement of trainees in the real experience of disability. The effect of the training is the development of soft skills – empathy and openness to others.
What is VR training?
Have you ever wondered if you can say “goodbye” to a blind person or move someone’s wheelchair in good faith without asking? Proper communication can be the first step in an effective recruitment process for people with disabilities. It is not worth giving up contact with others because of your discomfort resulting from ignorance or fear.
The training “Introduction to disability” is aimed at executives, managers, team leaders, HR department employees, customer service employees, and all other employees in the company. The workshop aims to raise awareness and sensitize to specific needs resulting from the fact of disability, learn the rules of contact, and provide answers to bothersome questions. Training participants gain knowledge on the basic issues related to the subject of disability, taking into account the current approach and complexity of the subject.
The training is also directed to employees of public institutions and administration officials. The program emphasizes appropriate preparation to perform the function of “accessibility coordinators” and the acquisition of skills to develop and implement plans to increase accessibility in offices.
The training is interactive – one of its elements is a field game, the aim of which is for participants to experience various types of barriers in the environment that people with disabilities encounter. The game will use disability simulators based on VR technology.
What Can Help Us Get to Know the Perspective of a Disabled Person with the Help of VR?
The purpose of the simulation is to properly combine the acquired theoretical knowledge with the experience of barriers in the environment and access to employment that people with disabilities face. During the exercise, the participant takes on the roles of, inter alia, in the role of a deaf person, a visually impaired person, a person with mobility difficulties. VR technology allows you to recreate the practical experience of “being in the shoes” of a disabled person, to better understand the specificity of its functioning in the work environment and the real need to adjust to a specific workplace.
We believe this is the best way to start building awareness and sensitivity to accessibility issues. It is the “barriers” and not the “medical problems” that are the main source of limitations for people with disabilities.
Course of VR training
The training is divided into two parts. In the theoretical part, participants gain knowledge in the field of disability, thus making a suitable background for the practical part – entering simulations using VR.
The participant is given a task to perform and a specific measurable goal to achieve, which requires interacting with the generated world and objects with the use of hands and movement. VR scenarios simulate the realities of professional or everyday activities performed by people with disabilities. (e.g. reading text, working on a computer, navigating in space, shopping in a store).
After that, the group and the trainer share their experience and discuss the exercise, transforming the previously acquired theoretical knowledge into awareness in the area of the functioning barriers in the environment. To check out tailor-made VR courses that break the boundaries of the physical world visit mazerspace.com