What does accessibility mean in the context of immersive technology?

It is a hard question when dealing with technology such as augmented/ virtual and extended reality which are inherently visual mediums and virtual tours which involve the ability to navigate through a space using a trigger – how can we increase accessibility in immersive technology?

It is an area as an industry as whole we need to do a lot more to be able ensure all members of society can appreciate the  power of immersive technology. Further to this immersive technology often can be used as an empathy machine allowing people to see through the eyes of others. By empowering those with different abilities to not only use the technology but provide feedback to improve the technology we are creating a robust industry that becomes equal to all. 

Here at Think Digital we are committed to trying to learn and evolve our experiences to better support all abilities. It is for this reason that we are thrilled to be working with Harry and the wonderful team at Neuro Hero which is a social enterprise empowering young people with physical disability through immersive technology and community impact. 

Think Digital Studios and Farm VR are bringing together their immersive tech and agriculture skills to Neuro Hero to create a 360 tour of the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus. This tour will be used as the intro to our accessibility workshop, and will operate as a tool to teach the young people with disabilities about agriculture, sustainability and where their food comes from.

NeuroHero is running an accessible garden workshop on July 16 at the University of Adelaide in collaboration with their start-up incubator, Thinclab. For this project NeuroHero have a little garden plot at the Waite campus, and they will be running the workshop at the city campus. The participants will learn about gardening and have an opportunity to work in teams in a way that is accessible to them. The workshop will include some practical tech elements like Minecraft and 360 footage, and also learning elements about accessibility, vegetable gardens and sustainability.

The general plan is to show participants the Waite campus garden plot through images and 360 video, then help them collaborate and design a vegetable garden on paper and virtually in Minecraft. Then NeuroHero will set up the garden at Waite and the participants can come and have a look in their own time (Waite has accessible parking, and gardens they can explore besides our plot). Plus the children will also be able to visit their garden plots virtually. Finally, NeuroHero will pick all the produce and give it back to the kids and their families. On the day our project manager Rein will be there with a number of headsets providing 360° tours of the garden the children will be designing for. While immersing students in a virtual garden inspiring their designs. We consider it an absolute honour to be partnering with such a worthy cause and look forward to the many learning opportunities it provides us to advance our own experience with accessibility in immersive technology.

Learn more by visiting the NeuroHero Website : https://neuro-hero.com
Check out the Event on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/neurohero-accessible-school-holiday-program-tickets-157874441705

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