Virtual Accessibility Market

virtual reality
category - vr
sector - media & technology
Virtual reality’s rise from a gaming tool to an engaging accessibility gateway is expanding the frontiers of inclusivity and opening up a playground to revolutionise how consumers heal, learn and work seamlessly between different realms.

Drivers: what’s happening

As Covid-19 was in full swing, those digital solutions helping to keep us connected felt like a warm embrace. The rapidly expanding virtual reality (VR) sector emerged from this digital shift, promising to enhance our remote experiences by recreating aspects of the real world we once took for granted. Once primarily associated with the realm of video games, the global lockdown catapulted VR into a new light, recasting it as a critical tool to unlock previously inaccessible environments.

With one in four US adults living with some type of disability, according to the Centers for Disease Content and Prevention, innovators in VR have found new ways to use the existing tech to overcome the day-to-day lack of accessible design.

Founded in 2019, XR Access is a community committed to making virtual, augmented and mixed reality (XR) accessible to people with disabilities. ‘These [VR] technologies can transform all kinds of data into accessible formats,’ Dylan Fox, director of operations at XR Access, tells LS:N Global. ‘Finding a cohesive way to do that in the real world, not just on screens, will enable people who have been excluded from a lot of real-world stuff to take part in it finally. I think that’s really exciting.’

Developments in VR are expanding the frontiers of inclusivity and opening up a playground to revolutionise how consumers heal, learn and work seamlessly between different realms.

Published by:

24 July 2023

Author: Manèle El Zoghlami

Image: Vinicius "amnx" Amano


All Access Life showcases how trending adaptive products can improve the lives of people with disabilities, Canada

Workplace Accessibility

With two thirds (66%) of US executives reporting that their companies are actively engaged in metaverse technology, VR is becoming a tangible tool for use in the workplace (source: PwC 2022 US Metaverse Survey). While this shift is partly motivated by the practicality of VR for training, it also makes various aspects of the workplace more accessible and engaging.

During the pandemic, Viability launched Project (VR), a one-of-a-kind blend of vocational rehabilitation and virtual reality to empower disabled people in the workplace. Through an engaging and innovative method, participants have the chance to practise communication, interviewing and other crucial soft skills to secure and sustain employment. They get to do it all in a controlled environment, adapted to their needs and pace.

But VR in the workplace also has the power to increase empathy. Walmart uses the STRIVR VR training platform for various stressful situations, ranging from handling Black Friday to dealing with a gunman. It has also used it to train its employees to engage in tough conversations about inclusion to foster a more inclusive environment – moving the delicate diversity and inclusion (D&I) and accessibility conversations to a safe place where both trainers and trainees won’t feel the additional pressure that comes with sitting around a single table in real life.

‘When I started showing families what we had developed, people would just give me a big hug. They would start crying that there was someone working on such a high-tech solution for their kids.’

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