Teaching Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired Spatial Awareness and Direction in Virtual Reality with Assessment in Actual Reality

The research team seeks to answer the following question: Do spatial awareness and direction skills, as measured in the real world, improve as a function of training in Virtual Reality?

Orientation and Mobility (O&M) training for children who are blind and visually impaired is provided by specialists who teach them how to use acoustical and tactical information to ambulate safely within the real world. This is a difficult task that requires many hours of intense one-on-one training in a variety of settings over a period of many years. However, there is a well documented shortage of qualified personnel in the field of Orientation and Mobility training. Furthermore, this shortage is projected to get much worse in the near future.


10/1/10 - 6/30/14


United States Department of Education