CGI helps SEN students safely navigate new experiences

CGI has created a virtual reality (VR) environment in a pro-bono project for Bettridge School, a school for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

The school wanted to safely present social situations and common place daily events to students which are a vital part of their education. Working with teaching staff at the school, CGI developed a web and virtual reality application that allows students to experience everyday social interactions, such as a trip to a supermarket. The application also enables the school to directly build new scenarios in the future.

A team from CGI’s Emerging Technology Lab in Gloucester delivered the application using imagery captured from 360-degree cameras. Tesco enabled a digital capture of a local store which students can now safely investigate in a realistic and meaningful manner. The VR application can accommodate students with different abilities to explore scenarios that can be either teacher-guided or student-driven depending on specific needs and objectives. 

Jo Bleasdale, Headteacher at Bettridge School said; “I’m blown-away by the technology and knowing how it will build pupils’ confidence going from the virtual world to reality. The impact of this project has been far beyond what I imagined. Working in collaboration with the CGI team has really delivered what we set-out to achieve and it is great to have worked in partnership with a local organisation.”

Patrick Hutchings, Senior Vice President Consulting Services for Secure Innovation and Advisory at CGI, said: “It has been wonderful to see pupils really benefitting and enjoying using our VR application and the difference it’s making to their education. Part of CGI’s culture is to build relationships with the communities in which we live and work.  This pro-bono project was put forward by one of our employees who identified an application of our technology that could make a real difference to the school’s pupils. We hope to build on this very successful example with other schools and groups.”

CGI is proud of being a responsible business and is committed to a more inclusive and sustainable world.  As part of CGI’s commitment as a responsible business it aims to build relationships with the communities in which CGI members live and work. This is done through employees’ activities such as volunteering, fundraising and pro bono initiatives that use their technical knowledge to enable, benefit and create a positive impact for local communities. 

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