Kup czasopismo
The lack of empathy towards disability is a significant societal issue that hampers inclusivity and understanding. Many struggle to comprehend the daily challenges and experiences faced by people with disabilities, leading to ignorance, prejudice, and exclusion. However, empathy plays a pivotal role in addressing this problem and serves as the foundation for developing and creating better products, services, and environments. This article explores the potential of developing virtual reality (VR) applications to enhance students’ empathy towards individuals with disabilities. By increasing empathy levels, students are expected to gain significant qualifications in universal design (UD). The full application development process covers the most suitable head-mounted display (HMD) set. The implementation methodology using the Unity programming platform, the approach adopted for conducting classes using the developed VR application, and the deployment stage. Testing was successfully conducted on a student population, receiving positive user feedback. Through the integration of VR technology, the authors thoroughly describe how to address the empathy gap and equip students with essential skills for inclusive and accessible design. The findings presented in this study provide valuable guidance for educators and developers interested in harnessing VR’s potential to foster empathy and advance universal design practices. With the presented methodology and proposed application, the authors demonstrate the effectiveness of VR applications in elevating students’ empathy levels, consequently enhancing their qualifications in universal design. Med Pr. 2023;74(3):199–210