Vocational rehabilitation of individuals with autism spectrum disorder with virtual reality

Lal Bozgeyikli, Evren Bozgeyikli, Andrew Raij, Redwan Alqasemi, Srinivas Katkoori, Rajiv Dubey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this article, a virtual reality system for vocational rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities (VR4VR) is presented. VR4VR uses immersive virtual environments to assess and train individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities. This article focuses on the system modules that were designed and developed for the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) population. The system offers training on six vocational skills that were identified as transferrable to and useful in many common jobs. These six transferable skills are cleaning, loading the back of a truck, money management, shelving, environmental awareness, and social skills. This article presents the VR4VR system, the design considerations for the ASD population, and the findings with a cohort of nine neurotypical individuals (control group) and nine high-functioning individuals with ASD (experiment group) who used the system. Good design practices gathered throughout the study are also shared for future virtual reality applications targeting individuals with ASD. Research questions focused on the effectiveness of the virtual reality system on vocational training of high-functioning individuals with ASD and the effect of distracters on task performance of high-functioning individuals with ASD. Follow-up survey results indicated that for individuals with ASD, there was improvement in all of the trained skills. No negative effects of the distracters were observed on the score of individuals with ASD. The proposed VR4VR system was found by professional job trainers to provide effective vocational training for individuals with ASD. The system turned out to be promising in terms of providing an alternative practical training tool for individuals with ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalACM Transactions on Accessible Computing
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Virtual reality
  • Vocational rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications

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