The “Aktiivisuutta kehitysvammaisen arkeen” project (Activities for The Everyday Life of the Disabled) created a game that offers a virtual visit to the home of a disabled person. The game gives you the opportunity to peek into a private home in a communal group home and get tips on what to do with a severely disabled person.
People with disabilities often live in their own home, which is part of a group home for people who need support in different ways. The housing service unit has staff present on site either for a part of the day or around the clock as needed. Different service providers are responsible for the operation of group homes. The tenant rents the apartment and receives the services they need there in accordance with the purchase agreements between the home municipality and the service provider. Although one’s own home is personal, its operations are guided from many directions: there are regulations, plans, dimensions, reporting, budgets, support for and even restrictions on the exercise of the right of self-determination.
Despite the fact that life in one's own home is good and safe, a disabled person who needs a lot of support can live a passive everyday life in their own home and in isolation from the rest of society. Interaction situations are mainly related to care situations, and there may be few other stimuli on a daily basis. A person with profound disabilities is invisible in our society: they take a taxi from door to door, and they may not visit any events other than those aimed at people with disabilities. It may be that they have neither the knowledge nor the experience to know what hobby options there are and what places they could visit.
Virtual home task points offer tips on interaction
The “Aktiivisuutta kehitysvammaisten arkeen” project (Activities for The Everyday Life of the Disabled) developed volunteering activities so that people with disabilities could meet new people and have more activity in their everyday lives. The project created guidelines for starting or developing volunteering activities in a group home.
The Sofia’s Virtual Home game was built into the guidelines for all to get to know the life of a disabled person in a group home. In the game, you can move around full 360 degrees and look for different task points. The points provide information on how to interact with Sofia and how she gives feedback. There are also points in the game where you get tips on what Sofia likes and what the player and Sofia could do together. The game zooms in and out and can be played either on a computer or on your phone. It takes about ten minutes to play through the whole game, to find all the spots.
The virtual home has been created together with 3DBear and has been designed by people living either independently or in a group home as well as by the staff working in them. The virtual home was photographed in one of Rinnekoti's housing units, the pictures of Sofia were painted by Anna-Kaisa Hartikainen, and the manuscript of the game was written by Maija Rimpiläinen.
The doors to Sofia’s home are open, come on in!
Volunteering in a group home: https://www.rinnekoti.fi/vapaaehtoistoiminta-ryhmakodissa/
Sofia’s Virtual Home: https://spaces.wondavr.com/embed/?course=2a8a4a30-fcce-11ea-9f90-3b4bef394abd
Maija Rimpiläinen, Rinnekoti