Conversation skill training in Virtual Reality: a study with people with communication deficit

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Title: Conversation skill training in Virtual Reality: a study with people with communication deficit
Authors: Politis, Yurgos
Leahy, Michael
Sung, Connie
Goodman, Lizbeth
et al.
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Date: 5-Jul-2018
Online since: 2019-04-29T11:43:01Z
Abstract: Virtual Reality has been around since the 1960s (Sensorama1, an immersive VR), but it never became commercially viable. A recent re-emergence of the technology was met with scepticism by industry leaders (Cronin, 2015). However, with the help of technological advances that have made it more affordable to the public, and because VR has reached a point where it can imitate the real world (Freina & Ott, 2015), it seems that this time VR is not only viable, but rather thriving and finding applications in all sorts of areas (including education and training). Virtual World environments are customizable spaces, where people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Intellectual Disabilities (IDs) can feel safe and calm and through which training can be delivered remotely from anywhere and to anyone and participants can undertake that training at their own pace in order to achieve goals (Freina & Ott, 2015). This gives users more control over the process, which in turn allows them to have more engaging in-world experiences (de Freitas Rebolledo‐Mendez Liarokapis Magoulas & Poulovassilis, 2010). Virtual Reality, especially in this recent advent has been very realistic to the point that you can interact with others virtually (Childs, 2010; Yee Bailenson & Ducheneaut, 2009). One of VRs main affordances is that it makes conversations easy, structured and inclusive (Newbutt, 2013). The literature therefore is suggesting that carrying out training in a Virtual World appears to be meeting the needs of people with ASD and ID, and can help them acquire the necessary skills for transition into independent living. However, limited research has been thus far conducted with that population using VR technology (Freina & Ott, 2015) and furthermore, there is limited literature on their social skill deficits (Matson Hattier & Turygin, 2012). This paper will give a brief history of Virtual Reality and its affordances, and then describe the Virtual Learning for people with ASD (VL4ASD) project, which aims to create a training intervention on conversation skills for people on the autistic spectrum with possible co-morbid ID. The paper will present results from the multiple baseline design approach employed by the project with three participants.
Funding Details: European Commission - Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
Type of material: Conference Publication
Publisher: DISES
Keywords: Virtual RealityAutismParticipatory designMultiple baseline designConversationSocial skillsTrainingVirtual World
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Language: fr
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Conference Details: 2018 DISES International Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, 3-5 July 2018
Appears in Collections:Mechanical & Materials Engineering Research Collection

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