Thursday, July 4, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Endeavour Foundation Launches Australia's Largest Disability VR Rollout

Endeavour Foundation is embarking upon Australia’s largest Virtual Reality (VR) rollout for a disability service provider and 50 locals with disability from Business Solutions in Mackay, are set to benefit!

The exclusive VR suite, will include two VR hubs with all of Endeavour Foundation’s leading VR learning programs, including: catching public transport (bus and train), how to cross a road through pedestrian safety, how to use an AT, navigating a café and barista training, forklift driving and warehouse safety, as well as a driving simulation focussing on car license preparations, driving at night, highway driving and parking.

Sixty Endeavour Foundation disability service sites along the country’s eastern seaboard will receive the newly released VR suite, directly assisting close to 3,000 people with disability to develop work and life skills.

“This rollout has been enormous and a huge advantage to the people we support. It’s an incredible feat, and certainly the largest in the disability sector. But we couldn’t do this without support,” said Endeavour Foundation’s Service Design Manager, Chris Beaumont.

“Our VR technologies allow Endeavour Foundation to create new possibilities for people with disability, whether it is improving life skills in our Learning and Lifestyle Hubs or gaining some skills towards sustainable employment while in a safe and controlled environment,” Mr Beaumont said.

Endeavour Foundation has a range of technologies and programs that help people with disability to live their best lives.

“The tech comes with the additional support of our exclusive 2D video-based THRIVE learning platform, enabling another way for people to upskill at their own pace, without the virtual reality setup,” Mr Beaumont added.

The mass VR release is the result of a generous $200,000 donation to the leading disability service provider, by its flagship charity car rally of 35 years, ‘Great Endeavour Rally’, with an additional local grant boost of $22,000 from the Queensland Government Gambling Community Benefit Fund.

Honourable, Julieanne Gilbert MP Member for Mackay, proudly launched the new VR suite at Endeavour Foundation’s Mackay Disability Social Enterprise on Wednesday 26th June.

“I was proud to support the Gambling Community Benefit Fund grant application as a way of building the skills and capability of people with disability in our electorate.”

“I congratulate Endeavour Foundation on the rollout of this new technology.

“Many people with disability will benefit from this new way of learning,” Ms Gilbert added.

Alex Gable has been at Endeavour Foundation’s Mackay disability social enterprise for a year, and although he’s used VR previously for gaming, this is the first time he’s pulled on the goggles for work purposes.

“I’ve had a go at the new VR. I did pallet jack and I walked through the warehouse, I had a few collisions with things, It’s a good thing it’s VR and not the real world.

“I wasn’t hurt. And I tried it again and I got it right,” said Mr Gable.

“VR helps with new experiences, and it also shows you how things work. It gives you confidence before you try if for yourself in the real world,” Mr Gable confirmed.

Mackay Business Solutions, Operations Manager, Shelley Henson, said “The introduction of the VR suite will be a true asset to our operations here, as it will enable the people we support, to learn and hone skills safely and in a controlled environment.

“It’s just wonderful to enhance abilities through different ways of learning.

“We are very grateful to the Queensland Government for this very generous contribution, we’re also incredibly grateful to our local community and businesses in the area who support us at Endeavour Foundation to help create possibilities for people with disability.”

Australia’s largest Virtual Reality (VR) rollout for disability service providers is set to benefit 50 locals with disability from Business Solutions in Mackay

Member for Mackay Julianne Gilbert with Alex gable demonstrating the VR and Endeavour Foundation’s Service Design Manager, Chris Beaumont. Photo credit: Hannah McNamara

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