Finalist category: People's Award 2014
AbilityNet Accessibility Award, People's Award, Winner, 2014
“If EVA Park wasn’t there, I wouldn’t be doing what I do, talk to everyone, going out as well. Went to club on my own two weeks ago. Never done that before.”
EVA Park is a multi-user virtual world that gives people with aphasia unique opportunities to practice their speech and establish social connections.
Based at City University London and funded by the Stroke Association, the EVA Project team came together three years ago to create EVA Park, the first virtual world designed specifically for people with aphasia. Aphasia is a language impairment, typically caused by a stroke. It can affect speech, reading, writing and comprehension of language, with devastating consequences for the individual.
Comprised of usability experts and speech and language therapy researchers, the EVA team also worked with aphasic consultants, through a process of participatory design, to ensure that Eva Park is accessible to its user community.
EVA Park is a tranquil, engaging and quirky place, with open green spaces and functional locations such as hairdressers and cafes, where users can practice their conversation skills. Users have their own individual avatars and communicate with each other using a headset, giving them time to regain confidence, develop their language skills and enjoy social connections with other people living with aphasia.