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    The Premier AT Conference

Virtual Reality Systems for Soft Skill Development

Date & Time
Friday, March 17, 2023 - 11:20 AM PST  
Location
Elite 1-3  
Description
Autistic individuals face poor employment outcomes relative to their neurotypical peers, with studies estimating that 50%-75% of autistic adults are unemployed or underemployed in the United States. Poor employment outcomes result in a greater need for financial and social support. Although there have been many strides in developing interventions for autistic children, there remains a gap in addressing employment challenges faced by autistic young adults entering the workforce. Soft skills, such as communication and teamwork, are not easily quantifiable, but can be practiced and improved upon. However, many of the resources available for soft skill training, such as job coaching and manualized curriculums, are expensive and not individualized. 3D simulated environments made in virtual reality can address these limitations by providing varied and individualized soft skill development systems. Our presentation will provide an overview of virtual reality and how it has been used for both hard and soft skill development. We will then present two virtual reality systems that we have developed for job interview training and teamwork skills practice. Both systems are developed to provide training to the autistic individual while also providing meaningful feedback to employers on how they can adapt their practices to improve employment outcomes. The presentation will conclude with a discussion on potential further applications of VR and current barriers.  
Audience
  • Research & Development
  • Employment & Human Resources
Audience Level
Intermediate  
Session Summary (Abstract)
Learn about emerging research technologies implementing virtual reality that are targeted at developing soft skills to improve employment outcomes for autistic young adults  
Primary Topic
Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), & Cross/Mixed Reality (XR)  
Secondary Topics
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Employment & Workplace
  • School-to-Work Transitioning
 
Session Type
General Track  

Presenters

  • Miroslava Migovich
    Vanderbilt University, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Abigale Plunk
    Vanderbilt University, Department of Electrical Engineering

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