Michigan State University (MSU) researchers are teaming with colleagues in Ireland to explore how wearable technologies like the Oculus Ri] can be used by individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to navigate virtual social situations.
The aim of the current project is to examine the use of such virtual reality devices to help individuals with ASD develop life skills that can lead to secure employment and independent living. This study is one of six new, multidisciplinary projects recently funded by MSU in an effort to spur novel approaches to research in autism, intellectual and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. According to a recent article by Andy Henion in MSUToday, the director of the MSU Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, Michael Leahy and colleagues continue to expand cross-disciplinary projects to solve problems for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities. One result of such expansion was the creation of an international research coalition of U.S. and Irish institutions (the DOCTRID Research Institute) that in turn led to the creation of the Institute for Research in Autism, Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities at MSU.