LEADING disability services provider, House with No Steps, has been awarded $200,000 funding from the National Disability Services Innovative Workforce Fund to develop prototype Virtual Reality learning tools for disability support workers.
House with No Steps is dedicated to giving people with a disability greater choice, control, and freedom - empowering them to live life on their own terms across NSW, Qld, and the ACT.
HWNS employs a workforce of more than 2,500 who offer a range of support to customers who live and work with a disability.
The National Disability Services Innovative Workforce Fund provides targeted funding to innovative projects, with the aim of fostering innovative approaches to workforce development to meet the needs of NDIS participants.
The Fund will trial new approaches in engaging, developing and utilising disability support workers.
As a Showcase Project recipient, House with No Steps will prototype the VR learning tools in a 12-month project, in partnership with the Centre for Social Impact.
The project will explore how VR or augmented reality can be used to enhance training, skills, and work practices among disability support workers - as well as empowering National Disability Insurance Scheme participants as co-learners.
The prototype to be developed will aim to enhance the capabilities of disability support workers with respect to risk-related scenarios in their workplace, and create new opportunities for learning through lifelike scenarios and experiences.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for House with No Steps, along with its support workers and customers, to explore how a new technology like virtual reality can enhance learning about risk in a disability supported setting," said Angela Meyer, Strategic Innovation Lead at HWNS.
"Virtual experiences offer us a chance to practice our responses to risk-related events in a safe way," said Angela.
"This award from the NDS Innovative Workforce Fund is an honour to receive and testament to House with No Steps' commitment to innovation to help people with disability live a great life. We are excited to be able to engage our workforce and customers in experimenting with this cutting edge technology, which provides the opportunity for immersive and experiential learning" said HWNS CEO Andrew Richardson.