Bridge College is successful in gaining funding from the Association of Colleges
Bridge College is pleased to announce a successful funding bid to provide a virtual reality experience to support young people with autism to access transition arrangements.
Recently schools, parents, carers and young people have requested a digital and virtual reality experience to facilitate and support transition arrangements. This has been a direct consequence of the pandemic and traditional methods of transition not being readily accessible. Virtual reality software will be utilised as an alternative to support young people to visit the facilities, familiarise themselves with the environment and meet key individuals without having to enter the building.
Research evidences young people with autism benefit from clear transitional arrangements and the use of digital and virtual reality platforms. To cite N. Newbutt, Senior Lecturer/Senior Researcher in Digital Education, Bristol University: “Students reported feeling less anxious, less stressed, more prepared for that space……. “In fact, the teachers also found that when the pupils got there, they knew where they wanted to go; they had a greater sense of purpose and direction.” Students with autism greatly benefit from a multi-sensory approach which they can approach in their own time and space. A. Rizzo, research professor University of Southern California argues this perceptual experience is something which cannot be achieved without Virtual reality (VR)
Bridge college uses a person-centred approach in relation to enabling young people to make informed choices leading to the promotion of advocacy and this technology offers a greater flexibility in terms of accessing provision as visits are currently time bound. As a result, there will be an increase in accessibility and inclusivity as barriers to location and travel are reduced. Using virtual reality technology, we will also see a large reduction in stress and anxiety for young people with autism who have significant difficulties with transition.
Furthermore, the virtual technology will be a learning tool which can be utilised and adapted to accommodate transition in a wider sense for example, transition to the workplace or to support travel training.
Jeremy Hoare, Assistant Technologist, who will be leading on this project says,
“The VR headsets are a brilliant way that we can reduce anxiety and stress for students who struggle with transitions. It will also be a great way for students who simply want to know what Bridge College is like, but are unable to visit in person, to be able to experience our facilities in a calming and informative way. It’s a really exciting opportunity to be able to support students in this way in what can be a difficult and challenging time for them.”
Lisa Duncalf, Principal says,
“We are very excited to be exploring initiative ways in which we can support young people with transition.”
To download the Bridge College prospectus please visit: https://www.flipsnack.com/togethertrust/bridge-college-prospectus-2020.html