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  • Publication
    Involving People with Autism in Development of Virtual World for Provision of Skills Training
    (Canadian Network for Innovation in Education, 2017-06-13) ; ; ;
    This paper presents the development phase of the of the Virtual World that is going to be used by the Virtual Learning for People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (VL4ASD) project, which aims to create training materials on conversation skills. This project is geared towards addressing the communication deficits of ASD populations, by exploring the extent to which the use of Virtual Reality (VR) could make an impact on the daily lives of people with those conditions and, thus, address a research gap. The initial results from the feedback sessions are positive towards using VR for training purposes. Feedback from both users and practitioners revealed that the training materials can be very beneficial to the target population. The stated goal of this project of explaining the steps necessary to engage in effective and fruitful conversations for people with ASD through VR, could be helpful to these individuals in their social interactions on a one-to-one basis. A next iteration of the VR training programme should involve having conversations in a more complex group dynamic that would enhance group members’ self-confidence and self-esteem. Ultimately, this VR training would assist young adults with ASD in their pursuit of independent living by giving them the opportunity to gain work experience. This study, as a proof of concept, would open the door to developing training for other communication, life, academic and vocational skills, while this training would not only be useful for people with ASD, but the wider population.