MONDAY JUNE 3, 2019: PORT OF SPAIN –The Digicel Foundation along with officials from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), Trinidad and Tobago Fire Services (TTFS), and in conjunction with teachers and caregivers from six schools for persons with disabilities, recently convened a working group as part of the Training and Empowerment component of Digicel Foundation’s ‘Preparing you!’ year three programme.
The core objectives of the programme are to develop tailored emergency and disaster response protocols and procedures for each institution, as well as training materials and an appropriate training methodology, along with a content and delivery plan to suit the targeted student/resident population at each facility.
The working group had the opportunity to review the Virtual Reality game ‘Masters of Prep’, being developed by Coded Arts, which will be used in conjunction with traditional training methods. The game takes the students virtually into the heart of the action as the mascot must face everything from home fires to earthquakes and emergency evacuations.
Franchesca Peters, Training and Education Specialist at the ODPM, said, “It’s important to have the teachers be hands on at this stage in developing the lesson plans and charting the way for the student-training component of the project.”
Teachers were able to review three scenarios developed and provide feedback to the developers on the speed, voice overs, functionality and overall content of the game.
Natalie-Anne De Silva, Digicel Foundation’s Project Officer said, “It’s important to have the stakeholders review the game in its developmental stage, to ensure the content is correct and the simulations and activities are relatable to the target audience of special needs students/residents.”
De Silva added that technology can simplify the educational process for people with disabilities and is intended to be used in combination with more traditional classroom-based learning, board games and puppet shows.
Members of the working group were pleased with the game concept and are planning to meet regularly to have the first batch of students receive training by September/October 2019.