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Jul 03, 2007

Virtual reality as a leisure activity for disabled individuals

Virtual reality as a leisure activity for young adults with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Res Dev Disabil. 2007 Jun 20;

Authors: Yalon-Chamovitz S, Weiss PL

Participation in leisure activities is a fundamental human right and an important factor of quality of life. Adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) and physical disabilities often experience limited opportunities to participate in leisure activities, virtual reality (VR) technologies may serve to broaden their repertoire of accessible leisure activities. Although the use of VR in rehabilitation has grown over the past decade, few applications have been reported for people with ID. Thirty-three men and women with moderate ID and severe cerebral palsy participated in the study. Each participant in the experimental group (n=17) took part in VR activity two to three times weekly for 12 weeks. Virtual games were provided via GestureTek's Gesture Xtreme video capture VR system. The VR-based activities were perceived by the participants to be enjoyable and successful. Moreover, participants demonstrated clear preferences, initiation and learning. They performed consistently and maintained a high level of interest throughout the intervention period. VR appears to provide varied and motivating opportunities for leisure activities among young adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. Its ease of use and adaptability make it a feasible option for this population.

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