SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: Endeavour Foundation's Tiia Dunbar with Declan O'Halloran, who attends the local learning hub and is keen to utilise their virtual reality technology to help him gain his licence.
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: Endeavour Foundation's Tiia Dunbar with Declan O'Halloran, who attends the local learning hub and is keen to utilise their virtual reality technology to help him gain his licence. Matthew Purcell

Virtual reality a driving force at learning hub

PEOPLE with a disability in Stanthorpe will be in the driver's seat this Disability Action Week (September 15-22) thanks to Endeavour Foundation's Stanthorpe Learning and Lifestyle hub.

The disability service provider is rolling out a new interactive virtual reality driving simulation aimed at giving people with intellectual disability the opportunity to get behind the wheel and practice driving skills in a safe environment.

Declan O'Halloran attends Endeavour Foundation's Stanthorpe Learning and Lifestyle hub and says he hopes training in the new VR driving simulation will help him get his licence.

"I can't wait to get my driver's licence so I can have more independence,” Mr O'Halloran said.

"The VR is a great way to practice driving on an actual road and will help a lot when it's time for me to get my licence and help me prepare for my learner's test.”

To celebrate, Endeavour Foundation is teaming up with Brass Monkey Classic Car Club Inc and inviting the Stanthorpe community to try the new technology and enjoy a display of classic vehicles.

Support and operations manager Penny Mann said Endeavour Foundation was investing in technology to improve learning outcomes for people with intellectual disability.

"We're bringing this technology to Stanthorpe because we believe virtual reality is a fantastic way of supporting people with intellectual disability to learn new things and gain confidence in a safe environment,” she said.

"We have a host of interactive simulations, including catching public transport, using the ATM, working as a barista and other work safety trainingtools.

"We've also rolled out the Connect app - a mobile application unique to Endeavour Foundation which offers friends and family members a window into our Learning and Lifestyle hubs.”

Ms Mann said Endeavour Foundation had long enjoyed fantastic community support in Stanthorpe.

"It's great that while we're launching our new virtual reality technology, we've got the Brass Monkeys bringing a display of vehicles so the people we support and the Stanthorpe community can enjoy a whole range of modern and classic cars as well as try out our virtual driving simulation,” she said.

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