Link December 2018 Volume 27 Issue 6 - Page 8

news in the news VR training for support workers H ouse with No Steps Group has unveiled its prototype virtual reality (VR) learning tool for disability support workers. The VR learning prototype offers support staff the opportunity to experience and learn about possible House with No Steps Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Richardson said virtual reality is a powerful tool. “We want to harness it to help sector, to complement other methods of training.” The prototype was developed in partnership with UNSW and our support workers learn safely the Centre for Social Impact, with about high-risk workplace situations,” support workers closely involved in Andrew said. the design process. “Having well-trained and Felicity Nelson, Strategic Innovation high-risk situations in a safe and dedicated staff is at the heart of our Lead at House with No Steps Group, realistic way. commitment to provide outstanding said the input from support staff was support to our customers. crucial to the project. The organisation embarked on developing the prototype in July “We definitely see how our “We interviewed dozens of 2017, after receiving $200,000 from prototype can be used not only support staff across rural and metro the National Disability Services within our organisation, but areas. It was important for us to (NDS) Innovative Workforce Fund. throughout the disability services learn about the complex needs they encounter on a daily basis. Feedback from support staff who tested the prototype was also incredibly useful – we made sure we incorporated their input into successive iterations of the prototype,” she said. House with No Steps Group completed testing of the VR learning prototype in mid-2018. The organisation recently submitted a report with their recommendations back to NDS. “Developing the prototype is really just the start of our journey,” Felicity said. “We want to pilot the experience with groups of staff and trainers across our organisation – we want them to start to incorporate it as part of their training. We’re hoping to find some Felicity Nelson, with Support Manager Ishwori Gaire. 8 news additional funding to help us take this exciting development forward.”