Sunday, May 16, 2021
Home Education Using Virtual Reality To Open Doors For Those With Disabilities

Using Virtual Reality To Open Doors For Those With Disabilities

Technology Advances Make New Experiences Possible

This March was an vital milestone for me and my household.

15 years in the past, my father was in an ATV accident that left him paralyzed from the mid-chest down. The sudden change in his mobility shifted my household’s lives tremendously; we now not had household hikes within the mountains, ATV rides within the desert, or basketball tournaments within the yard. We needed to transfer to a brand new home that didn’t have any stairs.

It additionally opened our eyes to the shameful state of the world round us relating to assembly ADA necessities in eating places, shops, and different public locations. In a determined try and return to regular within the months following the accident, we tried to exit to eat. Our household’s favourite eatery was very wheelchair accessible, and so we optimistically went to a different favourite some time later solely to search out out that they weren’t accessible and had by no means considered it as an actual difficulty.

Well, my father allow them to know that they have been breaking legal guidelines by not being ADA compliant, and identified how a lot cash he’d spent at their institution previously yr alone. The supervisor then got here out and mentioned “we’ll get you in.” He directed our household to the again of the shop and pulled us via the kitchen, then into the principle eating space. It wasn’t lengthy after that they added a ramp to their major entrance.

Dad went on to begin a weblog score completely different public places on their ADA compliance and located many others who have been doing the identical. He rated the Disneyland expertise from the viewpoint of a wheelchair-bound particular person. While being particularly observant at Disney, we observed a number of teams using the no-questions-asked, skip-the-line wheelchair coverage, one time even noticing a bunch of youngsters taking turns within the wheelchair all through a day.

It’s been 15 years now. My spouse has by no means identified her father-in-law as an able-bodied particular person. My youngsters won’t ever know their grandfather as a 6-foot, 2-inch man, however somewhat as a 4-foot, 7-inch man.

However, it isn’t all unhappy. Dad’s prominence locally he lives in has inspired companies all over to make their institutions wheelchair accessible. There’s even one restaurant that resides in a historic constructing and is unable to vary the accessibility of their entrance, however they’ve made lodging for to-go meals to be run out to Dad’s automobile when he orders.

We’ve additionally discovered methods to spend time with Dad outside and have adventures once more. He bought a recumbent hand bike that he rides usually, and each Independence Day we trip 20 miles down the Wasatch Front.

A household good friend, identified on-line as Jerry Rig Everything, reached out to Dad to see if he’d be keen to trial take a look at an off-roading electrical wheelchair known as The Rig. After giving his enter, he bought the ultimate mannequin and is now capable of spend time within the mountains and on climbing trails with us. As a bonus, the grandkids love driving on it too! Another bonus for the grandkids? Grandpa’s home is all one stage with very even wooden flooring which can be excellent for driving scooters and trikes on, making a great deal of glad recollections and filling the home with laughter.

As know-how advances and consciousness of the challenges of these with disabilities will increase, we’re certain to search out increasingly more options to those challenges.

A Surprising Solution

Through my work at eLearning Brothers, one other stunning answer has surfaced.

  • The drawback
    My Dad has by no means been inside my house, or my siblings’ properties, because of the variety of stairs and tight turns within the entryways.
  • Solution
    CenarioVR® permits for easy seize of any house and might be deployed through immersive know-how, permitting Dad to take a digital tour of every of our properties.
  • Tools wanted
    CenarioVR subscription, a 360 digicam (I used a GoPro Max [1]) and tripod, and a Google Cardboard [2] or comparable headset. We may have additionally deployed on a desktop if an immersive expertise was not the final word aim.
  • Process
    I used a GoPro MAX 360 digicam and used the video characteristic somewhat than photos. To preserve the footage in a manageable format I shot it in 3k as an alternative of 5k or 6k though I had that choice, and saved every of my clips at round 20 seconds.

Using Virtual Reality To Open Doors For Those With Disabilities

Determining the peak of the tripod was fascinating. My preliminary plan was to have it as near the bottom as attainable in order that the tripod legs wouldn’t splay out as far. Ultimately, I made a decision to place the digicam at what I estimated was Dad’s eye stage (seems I wasn’t very shut).

Using Virtual Reality To Open Doors For Those With Disabilities

Since I knew I’d be giving this expertise to Dad in an Oculus Quest, I made a decision to begin the excursions outdoors of my home. This created the expertise of coming over to my home and selecting to stroll within the entrance door.

Once inside, Dad can select how one can transfer round the home. I put in hotspots and small arrows so he can determine what room to maneuver into.

CenarioVR’s textual content field utility was very useful when it got here to rooms that we have been unwilling to seize, such because the laundry room, or the (packed) storage room. We additionally discovered that a few of the small rooms, such because the loos, didn’t give a really nice expertise when considered within the headset so we have been even handed about which of them we included within the tour.

Once he exited the home, we made navigation to the opposite properties very straightforward with extra hotspots and labels as to the place these ones went. In complete, we did three properties as a part of the tour, and every one had transportation arrows outdoors of it.

In two of the three properties, we gave precise excursions as if Dad had come over to go to. My brother and his spouse are pictured right here waving hiya to Dad. They then proceeded to inform him concerning the vital objects in every room. It added a pleasant personalized effect.

In my house, my four-year-old gave his kid’s perspective—whereas carrying nothing however his underwear—to grandpa in every room, offering the true expertise of a median day in my house.

Using Virtual Reality To Open Doors For Those With Disabilities

We additionally discovered that Dad would undergo some rooms greater than as soon as as a result of if he appeared in the wrong way of the tour guides he’d see some form of easter egg, like my brother’s canine excitedly watching “dog TV [1].”


We confirmed my Dad on a Sunday after we have been all gathered at his home. We put him within the headset and used the Quest screencast characteristic to solid what he noticed on the TV. We sat there as silently as we may, listening to our personal voices information him round our properties. Sometimes Dad would reply again to his digital host, particularly when it was his grandson saying, “This is the kitchen where we eat, what’s your favorite food grandpa?” He additionally made feedback comparable to “I didn’t know you had so much counter space” and “Wow, this room is decorated beautifully!” Afterward, he thanked every of us for placing the work into sharing our properties with him. He additionally identified that he’d been inside two of these three properties in actual life, however solely into one or two rooms because of mobility points so this actually allowed him to see every thing and he appreciated that.

How Does This Tie Into eLearning, You Ask?

In VR-focused webinars, I usually get requested about accessibility. Of course, for many eLearning builders the accessibility they’re involved about is for visible or listening to impairments. Lectora® is a implausible software for deploying programs that meet these accessibility necessities.

However, Virtual Reality has opened doorways in different methods by permitting individuals to go the place they merely in any other case couldn’t go. Dad is ready to tour his children’ properties. I can go to places on the opposite aspect of the world with out leaving my front room. And within the coaching world, we will take individuals to a digital convention in a time of social distancing, or on a helicopter trip to check ruins with out paying for airplane tickets. And now that I’ve finished this home tour I can see digital actuality’s worth as an actual property gross sales software.

So, Is Virtual Reality Accessible In The Traditional Sense?

No. But it’s a software that has helped and adjusted my life for the higher.


[1] Go Pro Max

[2] Google Cardboard

[3] DOGTV Stimulation: Park Life in San Francisco

eBook Release: CenarioVR


CenarioVR is an easy-to-use VR authoring & coaching software for creating immersive studying in minutes – no coding required. Courses might be accessed on the internet or native app ( obtainable on 11 platforms). Part of the eLearning Brothers Authoring Suites.

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