Following a research initiative, researchers at the University of Queensland have discovered that Virtual Reality could help people with communication disorders. In fact, as commonly known, effective communication is very important for humans to communicate their needs and problems. However, problem of acquired communication disorders that some are facing is significantly hampering the quality of their lives.
Importantly, communication disorders can sometimes be inherited, but they can also be acquired due to some health condition or traumatic events. To address this, therapies are available that help people deal with communication disorders in order to help them tackle obstacles for everyday functioning such as maintain a social life, job hunting, and maintain relationships. Traditionally, these therapies have been delivered in places such as health centers and hospitals. However, healthcare settings are mostly not suitable to simulate real-life interactions. And, this is where virtual reality comes into play.
Conversely, nervousness or feeling of unsafety people could be a reason for people with communication disorders. Interestingly, it’s good to allow oneself to be in such situations to overcome them, however, speech therapists may not always provide such situations. On the other hand, virtual reality can subject people with communication disorders in a variety of settings. Kitchen settings, mimicking complexity of everyday situations are some opportunities that virtual reality offers to individuals with communication disorders. To establish the efficacy of virtual reality, scientists interviewed and carried out surveys with speech pathologists following use of an immersive virtual reality kitchen environment.
“Speech pathologists consider virtual reality to be a viable alternative for the observation of communication performance in real-life environments,” explains the lead author of the study.