ERIC Number: EJ962101
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Reference Count: 17
Virtual Worlds: A New Opportunity for People with Lifelong Disability?
Stendal, Karen; Balandin, Susan; Molka-Danielsen, Judith
Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, v36 n1 p80-83 Mar 2011
Virtual worlds, such as Second Life[R], are the latest star in the online communication sky. Created by Linden Lab, Second Life is a three-dimensional environment that provides a context for avatars to communicate and socialise with other avatars in a variety of settings (Bell, 2009). Virtual worlds have been used to train people with intellectual disability in social skills. Parsons et al. (2006) conducted a study of training social skills within a specifically designed virtual environment for two adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. There are potentially many opportunities of both personal and social value for people with disability who engage in virtual worlds, as indicated in the study by Parsons et al. (2006). By exploring the possibilities offered through the use of virtual worlds, people with disability may experience the sense of actively participating as a member of a community, which may impact positively on their quality of life. At the same time, it is important to recognise and understand the challenges created by this technology and accept that not all people with lifelong disability will choose or be able to interact in a virtual world.
Descriptors: Mental Retardation, Autism, Quality of Life, Social Values, Virtual Classrooms, Disabilities, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Educational Technology, Simulated Environment, Adolescents, Values, Technology Uses in Education, Internet, Foreign Countries, Social Networks, Self Concept
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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Identifiers - Location: Norway