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Virtual Reality Gives Hope

The Centre for Social Inclusion of Madeira (CISM) will make available, as of today, the Living Laboratory, a measure that will cover more than 500 users of the Department of Inclusion of People with Disabilities.

With this new service, the region gains a new paradigm of rehabilitation and training of people with disabilities whose ultimate objective is to offer innovative solutions to promote autonomy, independent living, insertion in the labour market, and quality of life and inclusion.

“We capitalise on Virtual Reality Games, and Interfaces to explore specific brain mechanisms related to training, rehabilitation, and the exploration of new opportunities for people with disabilities,” explained this afternoon, the Regional Secretary for Inclusion and Youth, Ana Sousa, during the opening ceremony of the Living Laboratory.

Based on innovation and interdisciplinary research, at the intersection of technology, neuroscience, empowerment, and rehabilitation of people with disabilities, this laboratory will enable unique and immersive experiences for more than 500 users of the Department of Inclusion of People with Disabilities, combining the therapeutic process with research and training with the process of valuing experiences that promote autonomy.

Ana Sousa recalls that “for the full participation of people with disabilities, in a more inclusive future, it is essential that everyone reinforces the conditions for the participation of people with disabilities, combating social exclusion, eliminating social and physical barriers, creating support networks and autonomy and promoting the empowerment of people with disabilities and their families.”

The inclusion of people with disabilities is one of the strategic priorities assumed by the Regional Government of Madeira, as well as the recognition and promotion of their fundamental rights.

Among the measures implemented in the Region, the Regional Guide for Citizenship and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, which brings together all the information on public services, support, and resources available in Madeira, the 100Differences Programme, aimed at the integration and maintenance of people with disabilities in the labour market, and the Regional Strategy for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities 2023-2030.

It should be noted that the Living Laboratory is an investment of 34 thousand euros and also resulted from the support of a patron (donation from the company SIAG – Integrated Management Support System).

The Living Laboratory will be promoted by a team of professionals in close collaboration with the Regional Agency for the Development of Research, Technology, and Innovation (ARDITI) and has an Occupational Therapist with specific training in the area of rehabilitation engineering.

A fantastic step forward in creating a better quality of life for those living with disabilities.

Samantha Gannon

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