Virtual Reality: People with Special Needs

Paul M. Sharkey, PhD (Editor)
Interactive Systems Research Group, Director of Research, School of Systems Engineering, University of Reading, UK

Joav Merrick, MD, MMedSci, DMSc, (Editor)
Medical Director, Health Services, Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Jerusalem, Israel
Division of Adolescent Medicine, KY Children’s Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Jerusalem, Israel
Division of Pediatrics, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Centers, Mt Scopus Campus, Jerusalem, Israel
School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Series: Disability Studies
BISAC: SOC029000



Volume 10

Issue 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


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The use of virtual reality for learning, training, and rehabilitation for people with special needs has been on the rise in recent years. Virtual reality allows the user to be trained, to gather information and to perform rehabilitation tasks in the virtual reality space. It allows the user to perform independently, safely, and efficiently, in a combined product of sensory, motor, and cognitive skills. The design, development, and evaluation of such virtual reality environments is a multidisciplinary work, the integration of medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, neuroscience, psychology, education, engineering, computer science, and art.

In this book we cover a broad range of topics from virtual reality-augmented therapy in the development of cognitive neuroscience perspectives on motor rehabilitation, the potential of virtual environments to improve orientation and mobility skills for people who are blind, virtual reality for people with cerebral palsy, haptic virtual reality technologies for visual impairment and blindness, perception of space and subsequent design changes needed for accessibility, autism spectrum disorder to improving cognitive and intellectual skills via virtual environments in a range of different topics such as mathematical performance or prospective memory. (Imprint: Nova)


Chapter 1 - Virtual and augmented reality environments (pp. 3-5)
Orly Lahav, Paul Sharkey and Joav Merrick (School of Education, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel and others)

Section one: Virtual and augmented reality

Chapter 2 - Developmental cognitive neuroscience perspective on motor rehabilitation (pp. 7-20)
Peter H Wilson (School of Psychology, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)

Chapter 3 - Improving orientation and mobility skills through virtual environments for people who are blind (pp. 21-32)
Orly Lahav (School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel)

Chapter 4 - Upper-body interactive rehabilitation system for children with cerebral palsy (pp. 33-44)
Takehiko Yamaguchi, PhD, Paul Richard, PhD, Fabienne Veaux, Mickaël Dinomais, MD and Sylvie N’guyen, PhD (Laboratoire d’Ingénierie des Systèmes Automatisés (LISA - UPRES EA4014), LUNAM, Angers; Université d’Angers, CHU Angers, département de Médecine Physique et de Réadaptation, and Child Neurology Unit, University Hospital, Angers, France)

Chapter 5 - A collaborative virtual environment for conducting design sessions with students with autism spectrum disorder (pp. 45-62)
Laura Millen, Sue Cobb, PhD, Harshada Patel, PhD, and Tony Glover, PhD (VIRART, Human Factors Research Group, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, and Mixed Reality Lab, School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus, Nottingham, United Kingdom)

Chapter 6 - Mathematical literacy for everyone using arithmetic games (pp. 63-84)
Lena Pareto (Media and Design, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden)

Chapter 7 - The Surrey Virtual Reality System for the (gait) rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy (pp. 85-106)
Mohammad Al-Amri, Daniel Abásolo, Salim Ghoussayni and David Ewins (School of Healthcare Studies, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff; Centre for Biomedical Engineering, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, and Gait Laboratory, Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, London, United Kingdom)

Chapter 8 - Assessing prospective memory in young healthy adults using virtual reality (pp. 107-120)
Julie Gonneaud, Pascale Piolino, Grégory Lecouvey, Sophie Madeleine, Eric Orriols, Philippe Fleury, Francis Eustache and Béatrice Desgranges (INSERM, U1077/Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, UMR-S1077/Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, UMR-S1077/CHU de Caen, Caen, France; Inserm UMR S894, Centre de Psychiatrie et Neurosciences/ Université Paris Descartes Sorbonne Paris Cité, Laboratoire Mémoire and Cognition, Paris, France, and Centre Interdisciplinaire de Réalité Virtuelle, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, France)

Chapter 9 - Virtual reality learning software for individuals with intellectual disabilities (pp. 121-136)
Emilie Loup-Escande, Olivier Christmann, Romain Damiano, Franck Hernoux and Simon Richir (LAMPA, Arts et Métiers, Angers, France)

Chapter 10 - Haptic presentation of 3D objects in virtual reality for the visually disabled (pp. 137-148)
Marcin Moranski and Andrzej Materka (Institute of Electronics, Lodz University of Technology, Lodz, Poland)

Chapter 11 - Haptics visualisation of scientific data for visually impaired users (pp. 149-158)
Ruth White, Meng and William Harwin (University of Reading, School of Systems Engineering, Whiteknights, Reading, United Kingdom)

Chapter 12 - Impact of simulated low vision on perception and action (pp. 159-174)
Yasmine Boumenir, PhD, Abdelmajid Kadri, PhD, Nadège Suire, Corinne Mury, and Evelyne Klinger, PhD (ESIEA, Laval; Arts et Métiers ParisTech – LAMPA EA1427, Angers-Laval, and Institut des Hauts Thébaudières, Vertou, France)

Section two: Acknowledgments

Chapter 13 - About the editors (pp. 177-178)

Chapter 14 - About the School of Systems Engineering, University of Reading, United Kingdom (pp. 179-182)

Chapter 15 - About the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Israel (pp. 183-186)

Chapter 16 - About the book series ―Disability Studies (pp. 187-188)

Section three: Index


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