- Published on 18 October 2018
Australia’s Shepherd Centre, a charity providing a family-centered early intervention program to teach children born deaf or with hearing loss how to develop spoken language, has developed the experience to help people appreciate this condition.
The Centre told technology news source iTWire that it wanted to create a virtual reality (VR) confronting user experience that enables the user to understand how isolating hearing loss can be. It is expected to have multiple applications.
Jo Wallace, Senior Communications Manager at The Shepherd Centre, told iTWire “I think the VR technology is going to allow the students and anyone who watches it to really put them in the shoes of a child with hearing loss that hasn’t been diagnosed yet and to just see how frustrating or how confusing that could be. To not hear what the teacher’s saying, to not understand your friends, to not be able to participate in class or outside activities; I think it will really give the kids a sense of empathy for their classmates.”
So far, feedback from those who have experienced the VR has highlighted just how effective this type of tool is in truly placing people in a position to experience first-hand what this feels like. It has also been suggested that parents of children with hearing loss could use the VR technology to gain insight into how their child feels.
The VR clip has two different scenarios: one in the classroom and one on the playground. It shows how even a moderate level of hearing loss can have a very strong impact on what is heard and the information that is missed.