NEWS: Teens With Autism To Use Virtual Training To Learn Job Skills

We’ve learned through recent reports how VR training is transforming learning experiences, and reshaping teaching for good. We have seen evidence that VR training in ‘soft skills’ – for example in leadership, resilience and managing through change  can be both more effective, and more cost-effective to use, than traditional training methods. Business leaders are increasingly recognising VR’s ability to help upskill their employees faster. Even in today’s environment when in-person training is restricted and training budgets may be reducing.

It’s no surprise therefore to see other innovative uses of VR training emerging in the headlines. What’s more, these new VR tools are serving to improve employment outcomes for underserved and marginalised communities.

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)

A group of researchers from University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and tech-training company SIMmersion has received a $3 million grant from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health to develop a virtual reality training tool for youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), to boost their social and communication skills as they transition to the workforce from high school.

In the USA around 60,000 “transition youth” with ASD are ready to enter the workplace each year, but often need support to develop the soft skills required to hold jobs. Soft skills do not always come naturally for individuals with ASD, but it’s believed this new Virtual Reality Training Tool will allow users to strengthen and practice their soft skills in an interactive, fun and engaging way. Central to the tool’s success is its ability to provide repeated practice and feedback. The sophisticated technology comprises a series of interactive modules across 3 Levels designed by the autism community, teachers, employers and diversity experts.

One of the most inspiring qualities about the project is that it not only aims to help autistic youth to maintain employment, but “also is inclusive for autistic youth from diverse communities – an approach that is often overlooked” (Matthew Smith, associate professor in the University of Michigan School of Social Work).

Read the full article here.


At Circus we pride ourselves on the virtual content we create. We use our team of content creation, UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) experts to revolutionise traditional training models. Turning real-world programmes into inclusive virtual experiences which can be deployed online or in VR, and are effective, scalable and fun for all.

Take a look at some of our most recent virtual training projects here.

If you’re looking for more information on virtual training, please contact our award-winning team today.

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