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Virtual reality driving success

Posted: 9am 24 Dec 2021

Students of all abilities at Bray Park State High School are on the road to success thanks the ingenuity of the Endeavour Foundation and funding from the Gaming Community Benefit fund.

The Endeavour Foundation has given the school a special Virtual Reality package, which includes a unique driving simulator it developed.

Endeavour Foundation Service Design Partner Chris Beaumont says for most people learning to drive is considered a rite of passage, but for neurodiverse people or those with a learning disability, systemic and social barriers – or even a lack of confidence – can make getting behind the wheel more challenging.

“I hear from speaking to neurodiverse people that many are worried they may not even be allowed to get a driver’s licence, especially if they have a disability that impacts on their ability to learn – but that’s not the case,” Chris says.

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“When you put on a Virtual Reality (VR) headset, you’re transported to somewhere else entirely and have the most immersive learning experience imaginable.

“Through this technology, learners can build confidence in the safety of the virtual world, before taking what they’ve learned into the real-world.”

Principal Peter Turner says the technology will enhance learning opportunities for students.

“Having access to this top-of-the-line technology is not only a great opportunity for our students to experience work skills, but it also builds community partnerships,” Peter says.

Student Divyesh Goundar says he hadn’t considered how much he could learn through VR technology.

"I thought VR was only for gaming and entertainment,” Divyesh says.

“Now I can try something that is more educational and for real life."

While the Endeavour Foundation’s unique VR programs were designed for people with learning disabilities, they can be used by anyone.

The package for Bray Park State High School includes a fast laptop, Oculus VR headset, driving wheel, pedals, software, and training to deliver virtual learning programs.

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