Technology breaking down barriers for students with a disability

You look to your left and see modern lecture theatres and classrooms, you turn to your right and find students socialising and studying together – a life you could soon be a part of.

For some high school students with a disability this will soon be a virtual reality thanks to an initiative from the National Disability Coordination Officers Program hosted by STEPS Group Australia.

A virtual reality program will tour rural high schools in far north Queensland to encourage students with a disability to consider attending university.

The 360 degree video will allow students to gain an insight into what university life is like, how accessible campus life can be and how disability support services can help.

Three university students feature in the short film, sharing their own experiences of transitioning to university and the tools they use to help them succeed in their studies.

North QLD NDCO David Swayn said the virtual reality video is an innovative solution for students in rural and remote areas, who previously would have had to travel hundreds of kilometres to tour a campus.

“This technology breaks down physical and geographical barriers and allows the user to explore a uni campus from anywhere,” he said.

“It’s an experience with the information built in rather than attending an information session or simply relying on a brochure.

“Early research has shown strong engagement from young people with a disability, particularly those on the autism spectrum because it allows students to explore and familiarise themselves with a new environment in a safe location, with the ability to stop the exploration at any time.”

For more information contact David Swayn at davids@stepsgroup.com.au.

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