Virtual Worlds for the Blind http://eloisepasteur.net/blog/index.php?/archives/243-Virtual-Worlds-for-the-Blind.html Virtual Worlds for the Blind
IBM has recently (Jan09) announced an interface for Second Life for the blind.
The system runs in Firefox (supposedly - I couldn't make it work) and presents standardised buttons for core functions (also accessible by hot keys) and a textual interface that is designed to work smoothly with screen readers.
Accessibility in the Metaverse? http://learningwiki.editme.com/L10-Podcasts Accessibility in the Metaverse?
Efforts in Section 508 Compliance in Second Life
Let's discuss the various efforts underway to make the metaverse, in this case - Second Life, accessible to most.
I'm not talking accessible to "furries" or mythical creatures, but "RL" (real life) humans with dissabilities. If you are a U.S. government agency or contractor exploring these new platforms, you'll want to follow the progress of these efforts. Do you use assistive technology and want to explore Second Life and similar platforms? If so, these efforts need your input and involvement in the spirit of "nothing about us without us."
Real Hope in a Virtual World. https://tinyurl.com/2t9kdw Real Hope in a Virtual World.
This Washington Post article describes the ways various disabled people are being helped in Second Life, from connecting with RL health care professionals, to finding support groups, to just enjoying life because they can "walk" again.
"It's kind of like getting your life back again, but even better in some ways," said Kathie Olson, 53, who uses a wheelchair, lives alone and rarely leaves her home near Salt Lake City. In Second Life, she roams about as Kat Klata, a curvy young brunette who runs the Dragon Inn nightclub. "I've met so many people. I can walk. I can dance. I can even fly. Without this I'd just be staring at four walls. Mentally it's helped me so much."
2nDisability http://2ndisability.blogspot.com/ 2nDisability ... FEZ Rutherford about creating and living a real virtual (~online) disability
This is an EXCELLENT Blog about disabilities and Second Life.
Second hand look at Second Life https://tinyurl.com/2b4pet Second hand look at Second Life
It is possible for characters to have simulated impairments. Called 2nDisability, residents can get just a glimpse of what it must be like to have epilepsy or be visually impaired. Writing about her experience, Rowella James says, “to be honest, some people find it really weird and are a bit freaked out.”
Wheelies in Second Life https://tinyurl.com/34duy2 Wheelies in Second Life ... a multi level building full of disability art and media.
Wheelies https://tinyurl.com/35ahvj Wheelies - "First Rolling Mondays" Event in Second Life
Images online at Flickr
A nightclub owned by Simon Stevens, who has cerebral palsy, Wheelies aims to make guests feel comfortable about disability as well as dancing, drinking and just plain having a good time.
But this isn't a normal nightclub - you can go clubbing without even leaving the couch because Wheelies is totally virtual, and it's only accessible via your computer. It's part of 'SecondLife'
Virtual Reality in Special Needs in Early Educ. http://www.shambles.net/secondlife/sen/vr_sped_early.pdf Virtual Reality in Special Needs
The International Journal of Virtual Reality, 2006, 5(4):55-68
Abstract—During recent decades there has been an observable development in the social state of so-termed disabled people. With the WHO’s definition on the concepts of handicap, impairment and disability and the light cast on society’s responsibility towards their impaired members a radical change started.
The overwhelming technological development of the late 20th century has inserted a new dimension into the debate . In the 21st century when almost everybody uses computers it would be better to refer to disabled people as special needs users, since they have the same rights as healthy people to learn, work, and have fun using computer generated virtual environments.
Virtual Worlds and SEN (paper 1998) http://www.shambles.net/secondlife/sen/vle_sen.pdf Virtual Environments Special Needs and Evaluative Methods
This paper presents an overview of the development of the Learning in
Virtual Environments programme (LIVE), carried out in special education over the
last four years. It is more precisely a project chronology, so that the reader can
sense the historical development of the programme rather than giving emphasis to
any one particular feature or breakthrough, which are covered in other papers and
available through the authors.
The project conception in a special school in Nottingham is followed by a
description of the development of experiential and communicational virtual
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