You probably have friends with handicaps. You know that the disabled face many barriers in living in the “real” world. There are also barriers to entering into a virtual world. Some Virtual Ability, Inc. clients have only one hand or even one finger they can control to type. Some use a stylus, or type with their toes. Some can’t type at all, and use voice recognition software to control their computer.
We help people with these kind of challenges get into, and become successful in virtual worlds like Second Life.
During our unique intake process, we conduct an individualized skills assessment, refer clients for help with assistive hardware and software as appropriate, and provide customized training and orientation.
Once they are “there”, Virtual Ability, Inc. helps our clients integrate into the virtual society, and provides an ongoing community of support. The community offers members information, encouragement, training, companionship, referrals to other online resources and groups, ways to contribute back to the community, and ways to have fun.
We take virtual field trips as part of our curriculum with our new intakes. We also have volunteers who love to go shopping, and enjoy helping folks with virtual makeovers. While almost anyone new to a virtual online world would enjoy a little early guidance, we are finding that this individualized attention is often critical for the success of those who are disabled.
We also do a lot of dancing. We have taken folks to walk in the virtual woods, climb mountains, go virtual skydiving – all kinds of things that are profound and a pleasure to someone with physical or mental limitations. It’s an amazing experience helping someone who will never walk again in real life to jump on a virtual trampoline.~