Link December 2018 Volume 27 Issue 6 - Page 10

news “To not hear what the teacher is 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,” Mr Lawson said. Tyler’s mother Philippa Potaka said the virtual reality training could be a valuable tool for parents who have just found out their child has been diagnosed with hearing loss. “There’s always the question of Experiencing a world of silence ‘what is it going to be like for my he Shepherd Centre in Sydney has launched a Virtual Reality (VR) experience that immerses users in a world of silence, enabling them to feel first-hand what life is like for a child with hearing loss. isolation and misunderstanding something really quite unique and with just a moderate level of special,” she said. T The Shepherd Centre supports children with hearing loss of all levels child?’ You never quite know what it’s like for them so to put on the vheadset and actually transport myself to his body almost … it’s hearing loss. The development of The Shepherd Centre’s CEO Dr the VR clip became an educational Jim Hungerford said the clip includes experience for Tyler’s class as they two scenarios – one in the classroom learned some of the challenges and one in the playground – where their classmate experienced on a even just a moderate level of hearing daily basis. loss can completely impact on what Tyler’s former teacher Angus is heard and the information that is to learn to listen and speak, but the Lawson said the clip allows students missed, leaving the user feeling quite clinical staff who work there have and anyone who watches it to really anxious and unaware of what is going often struggled to articulate just how put themselves in the shoes of a child on around them. isolating life with even just moderate with hearing loss. www.shepherdcentre.org.au hearing loss can be. For over a year and a half, the organisation worked with Surry Hills based agency Paper Moose to develop a confronting VR experience that allows the user to experience hearing loss for themselves. Senior Communications Manager at The Shepherd Centre, Jo Wallace Shepherd Centre graduate Tyler Potaka and CEO Dr Jim Hungerford with the VR experience. Above: Tyler Potaka and his mother Philippa. worked with one of The Shepherd Centre’s graduates Tyler Potaka, his teacher and their class to recreate a primary school setting where a child with hearing loss experiences social 10 news linkonline.com.au