New Year’s Party Dancing by Patients with Disabilities in a Virtual Reality World

Though quite underdressed for the event, I had the privilege of attending an invitation to the Virtual Ability Island Sanctuary New Year’s Celebration yesterday evening, at 0800h SLT (Second Life Time). The party, organized by Virtual Ability Incorporated (, provided a place where people with disabilities could celebrate from the comfort of their own home, something unthinkable for most a few years ago.

Take for instance one of the Virtual Ability Island founders, Alice Krueger (SL Gentle Heron). Alice suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and is bedridden as a result. As Gentle Heron, she danced majestically, performing everything from dips to New Yorkers with her dance partner. Figure 1 displays one of the dance floors inside the celebration. The wheelchair sign, when clicked upon, allowed my avatar (the human like figure) to run a wheelchair dancing script (Figure 2).

Figure 1: Inside the Celebration

Figure 2: Wheelchair Dancing Script Performed by my Avatar (SL name Cisco Gravois).

The firsthand experience of attending the party brought tears to my eyes. I have spent much time working with people with physical and cognitive disabilities. This party allowed patients with disabilities to live what would many consider the impossible- dancing, ice-skating, an infinite array of possibilities.

I hope to be invited to more parties and promise to customize my clothing. Meanwhile, stay tuned for more info on SecondLife and its ability to help people with disabilities.

Note: SLT is the same as PST as Linden Lab is located in San Francisco California.

January 1st, 2009 | Articles by me, English

1 comment

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A wonderful application for SL!

Comment by Sarah Stewart — January 1, 2009 @ 4:45 PM