Is Virtual Reality the road to empathy?

Virtual Reality’s possibilities extend well beyond the familiar gaming and sales applications. Now it’s becoming the ultimate empathy machine…

A new application called “Making it Accessible” demonstrates how a child with physical, hearing, or autism disabilities can feel.

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Developed by Edge-MT, a VR/AR production company from Israel, the application aims to shape positive attitudes toward children, youth and adults with disabilities.

Virtual reality is the “best way to elicit empathy and solidarity” said Liron Zuckerman, Co-Founder of Edge-MT. Therefore, the company decided to “highlight the limitations that children and youth with disabilities face,” through a VR application.

The app creates simulations of situations that occur in a park, as they would be experienced by youth with disabilities, such as physical disability, visual and hearing impairment, or autism spectrum disability.

“Virtual reality connects humans to other humans in a profound way I’ve never before seen in any other form of media, and it can change people’s perception of each other,” Chris Milk says in a TED Talk. “That is why I think virtual reality has the potential to actually change the world.”


Miranda McCarthy, CEO and Founder at Wavelength VR says:

“Growing up as a disabled child with disfigured legs, and an uneven gait, I was constantly stared at. Adults and children alike would look me up and down and I remember the feeling of anxiety it gave me. It’s human nature to find fascination in something we see as out of the ordinary but if you could spend a day in my shoes you’d think twice about staring at anyone!

Perception is relative to perspective. VR can change your perspective and when you’re able to walk in someone else’s shoes, your perception will change too.”