Thursday, November 23, 2017

Safari Learns All About Eva

                 This week, two posts about two great builds with strong ties to the real world... this is the first post, please don't miss the other.  HG Address, as always, available if you scroll down to the end.

               We began this trip with a trip to 3DLES grid. The visit had a bit of a slow start, as the grid tried to digest our many HG germs. This scenario is exactly why we begin our trips at the clubhouse, not at the first destination, because it gives us a place to sit around and chat while we waited for our heroic host to get the server back online. And yes, that is a penguin. Dabici Straulino is back inworld, working on a winter Creanovale build.
Aime Socrates: many hunters for this safari tonight !
Thirza Ember: while we're waiting, who knows what Aphasia is?

Tosha Tyran: aphasia is asia with pha
Selby Evans: Aphasia is an inability to comprehend and formulate language because of damage to specific brain regions [1] This damage is typically caused by a cerebral vascular accident (stroke), or head trauma, however these are not the only possible causes  To be diagnosed with aphasia, a person's speech or language must be significantly impaired in one (or several) of the four communication modalities following acquired brain injury or have significant decline over a short time period (progressive aphasia)  The four communication modalities are auditory comprehension, verbal expression, reading and writing, and functional communication - wikipedia
Tosha Tyran: oh    I like my interpretation better    but thanks, selby :)
The elegant welcome region on 3DLES, with the meeting area visible in the background

There had never before been quite so many people for so many grids on 3DLES, and Nick was apologetic to us for the hiccup... but it's something we've all learned to live with.
Nick Zwart ad the 20+ visitors to 3DLES
Thirza Ember: hey, it's not a safari unless there is crashing         
Jessie Campbell: yeah we are real good with that
Phred Resident: why is it better after a reboot?
Nick Zwart: I closed the other island
Phred Resident: ah, i see  Opensim doesn't do load shedding well it seems
Nick Zwart: Hello, my name is Nick Zwart  I am CEO of 3DLES  Welcome at the 3DLES grid  We have around 14 islands running here which are examples or demonstration islands  Most of these islands are also used on other grids that are closed for HG because of the research or teenager teaching they do over there. I have some slides to show you, and on these slides you will also see the text that I type here.
 Nick Zwart: Today I will tell you about the EVA Park project of the City University of London. For this project 3DLES hosts three identical islands on a dedicated server  And I am also one of the researchers on this project. Initially they worked with one island which they built themselves, with free objects and scripts.  In 2016 they asked me to join the team, to help create a better working system.
Nick Zwart: EVA Park is a project where people with APHASIA can practise their speech and work on social connections with others.  People with APHASIA are not able to formulate language because of a damaged brain region  This can be caused by a stroke or by head trauma. Most of these people are very uncertain about talking and also do not want to go out into the public anymore. EVA Park offers a safe place where they can work on their speech skills with a therapist and get in contact with others.    The City University of London started over two years ago with the research, funded by the Stroke Association. First they built this island with a variety of virtual locations including shops, restaurants, a hairdressers, houses, a bar and disco, together with fun and fantastical elements. Next, they installed and set up the Firestorm viewer on some laptops that were distributed to people with aphasia. They were asked to log in from home, on a certain day and time, so they could meet and talk to a therapist.
Jessie Campbell: Nick how long does a patient stay with the program?
Nick Zwart: the participants stay in the project for about 4 months
Jessie Campbell: and how are the results?
 Nick Zwart: it is still research.  The first tests were very positive, you can read all about that on evapark co uk
Cheops Forlife7: ok it works here too thanks the use of the avatars
snowbody cortes: What is the average age of the people with Aphasia, Nick?
Nick Zwart: It's above 40. they work with voice chat  At first they worked with Freeswitch voice but we now use Vivox voice, like in Second Life and on most OpenSim grids. Not all participants could communicate via text chat so we created a HUD with some buttons that they could use to express themselves.
George Equus: Good way to remove shyness I imagine, getting ppl to connect again with others,
Nick Zwart: now comes the interesting part for me.Because of the research aspect of this project we had to find a way to log the activities of the participants. So we scripted every chair, animal, bench, and many more objects to send information about WHO clicked WHAT, WHERE and WHEN, to an external database. The data can be displayed per person, here you see a list with the date, time, what he did (Event), where he did it and the location.  The data can even be displayed on a real time map so you can see the movements of this person...this is done by html5.

Nick Zwart: EVA Park was even recognised in the 2016 NT100 – Nominet Trust’s annual celebration of the people and organisations using digital technology to change the world for the better, and they got extra funding for that.
Sunshine Szavanna: ah congrats :)
Xirana Oximoxi: bravo!!
Nick Zwart: So in 2017, starting this summer, we updated the project by creating a second island, which is an exact copy, especially for groups to work on . During this part of the project, four support groups, each involving 8 people with aphasia, will run for 6 months in EVA Park. The groups will be led by local co-ordinators and volunteers, supervised by the EVA Park team . They will follow a planned programme of activities which are designed to foster relationships between the participants, and help build optimism and resilience  The third island is recently created for pioneering.
Party zone on Eva Park region
                You can visit the copy of Eva Park for yourself (the actual grid where therapy takes place is obviously not open to the public) and see how easy it would be to adapt the concept for other languages, so that beyond the current anglophone use of the build, people with aphasia from other parts of Europe could use it and improve their confidence and skills, to be motivated to get back out into the real world.
                  It was a fight to get to see this presentation, but I don't think a single one of us regretted making the effort, or were not inspired by the story of courage and resilience of these aphasia patients, the hard work of their therapists, and the enthusiasm and tech skills of Nick Zwart.
Beth Ghostraven: thank you, Nick!
Selby Evans: Great work
Spike Sol: Thank you
Wizardoz Chrome: Great initiative
Phred Resident:           Ă● P● P●Ł●Ă●Ŭ● Ŝ● Ё●
Phred Resident: presses button repeatedly

HG Address:
3DLES meeting zone             
Eva Park [visitable region] park

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