AR and VR for IDD

New Year’s Resolution Tech Tips: Virtual and Augmented Realty for Individuals with IDD

Written by Dr. Betty Patten

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are not just buzzwords; they are transformative technologies with immense potential, especially for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). In this blog post, we'll explore how exploring VR and embracing AR can benefit this community and provide guidance on implementing these technologies on both iOS and Android devices.

Tip 1: Explore Virtual Reality (VR)

Why It Matters:

VR offers individuals with IDD a unique opportunity to explore immersive experiences that can be both entertaining and educational. It provides a sense of presence and engagement, making learning and entertainment more accessible and enjoyable.

The Benefits:

  • Enhanced Learning: VR can make educational content more engaging and understandable.

  • Emotional Well-Being: Immersive experiences can reduce stress and anxiety.

  • Increased Independence: VR can promote self-guided exploration and entertainment.

How to Implement on iOS and Android:

iOS (iPhone/iPad):

  • Look for VR apps on the App Store, such as Google Cardboard or YouTube VR.

  • Invest in a compatible VR headset, like the Oculus Quest.

  • Explore educational VR experiences, games, and entertainment content.


  • Access VR content through Google Play Store.

  • Consider VR headsets like the Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Quest.

  • Find VR apps that align with personal interests and educational needs.

Tip 2: Discover Augmented Reality (AR)

Why It Matters:

AR apps enhance the real world with digital elements, making them valuable tools for individuals with IDD. From navigation assistance to interactive learning and creative exploration, AR offers a wide range of practical and enjoyable applications.

The Benefits:

  • Practical Assistance: AR aids in tasks like navigation, object recognition, and text translation.

  • Engaging Learning: AR apps can make learning more interactive and enjoyable.

  • Creativity Unleashed: AR sparks creativity in art, interior design, and storytelling.

How to Implement on iOS and Android:

iOS (iPhone/iPad):

  • Access AR apps on the App Store, such as Apple's ARKit-enabled apps.

  • Utilize the built-in AR features like AR Measure or ARKit.

  • Explore AR apps for various purposes, from educational to practical.


  • Discover AR apps on Google Play Store, such as Google Lens.

  • Use ARCore for Android for enhanced AR experiences.

  • Try AR apps that cater to specific interests and needs.

Incorporating VR and AR into the lives of individuals with IDD can be a game-changer, offering enriched learning, entertainment, and practical assistance. These technologies open up new horizons, foster independence, and provide unique opportunities for engagement and exploration. By embracing VR and AR, we empower individuals with IDD to navigate and interact with the world in innovative and exciting ways.

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