In a world where technology is becoming increasingly vital, 2020 graduate Alessa Dumbrill is determined to ensure that students of all abilities can access digital education.
Over the July school holidays, Alessa voluntarily helped to facilitate a workshop with NeuroHero – an accessible virtual reality experience for students with physical disabilities who otherwise cannot participate in mainstream school holiday programs and activities.
The July workshop provided 9 students between the ages of 13-18 with the opportunity to engage in a 360° virtual learning experience, focussed on food sourcing. Students then used Minecraft software to design a small veggie garden that will now be brought to life at the University of Adelaide Waite Campus.
Alessa’s proud and persistent advocation for people with special needs presented her as the prestigious 2020 ‘Nazareth Award’ winner last year. Alessa, who lives with muscular dystrophy, is now a student at the University of Adelaide and proud volunteer with NeuroHero.
The NeuroHero team was founded last year, by Harry Spurrier, student at the University of Adelaide, who has a passion for health (as the son of Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier it must run in the family!) and a goal to improve the lives of teenagers with debilitating neurodegenerative disorders.
“Many school holiday programs are partly or completely inaccessible to physical disabilities, we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to be involved,” sates the NeuroHero website.
“Because of this, we take an accessible approach in our workshops, to allow children to relax, learn and have fun without worrying about being included”.
“Whilst the NeuroHero school holiday workshop didn’t go quite according to plan, the students had fun! VR headsets were limited but some students preferred using a laptop or Minecraft to design garden beds and they looked really good,” said Alessa.