Sunday, December 17, 2017

2017 3D LES: Aphasia therapy in OpenSim, Eva Park

3D LES:  Aphasia therapy in OpenSim, Eva Park
Aphasia is a loss of the ability to speak and/or understand language.  EVA Park is a pioneering virtual world for people with aphasia, a language impairment that affects one third of people who survive a stroke.

Eva Park is a multi-user online virtual world that gives people with aphasia unique opportunities to practise their speech and establish social connections. It was created at City, University of London, via a process of co-design where people with aphasia collaborated with researchers in human-computer interaction and speech and language therapy.
More after the break


Eva park quick tour

Comments by  Nick Zwart

Data collection

...we scripted every chair, animal, bench, and many more objects to send information about WHO clicked WHAT, WHERE and WHEN, to an external database.  The data can be displayed per person, here you see a list with the date, time, what he did (Event), where he did it and the location.The data can even be displayed on a real time map so you can see the movements of this person.

In Progress

During this part of the project, four support groups, each involving 8 people with aphasia, will run for 6 months in EVA Park.  The groups will be led by local coordinators.   They will follow a planned programme of activities which are designed to foster relationships between the participants, and help build optimism and resilience.
The third island is recently created for pioneering. We want other aphasia institutions to learn about EVA Park. But we do not want them to interfere the other meetings.

Technical papers

Evaluating the Benefits of Aphasia Intervention Delivered in Virtual Reality: Results of a Quasi-Randomised Study  (PLOS ONE)


This study evaluated an intervention for people with aphasia delivered in a novel virtual reality platform called EVA Park. EVA Park contains a number of functional and fantastic locations and allows for interactive communication between multiple users. Twenty people with aphasia had 5 weeks’ intervention, during which they received daily language stimulation sessions in EVA Park from a support worker. The study employed a quasi randomised design, which compared a group that received immediate intervention with a waitlist control group. Outcome measures explored the effects of intervention on communication and language skills, communicative confidence and feelings of social isolation. Compliance with the intervention was also explored through attrition and usage data.


There was excellent compliance with the intervention, with no participants lost to follow up and most (18/20) receiving at least 88% of the intended treatment dose. Intervention brought about significant gains on a measure of functional communication. Gains were achieved by both groups of participants, once intervention was received, and were well maintained. Changes on the measures of communicative confidence and feelings of social isolation were not achieved. Results are discussed with reference to previous aphasia therapy findings.

Experiencing EVA Park, A Multi-User Virtual World For People With Aphasia

Galliers, J. R., Wilson, S., Marshall, J., Talbot, R., Devane, N., Booth, T., Woolf, C. & Greenwood, H. (2017). Experiencing EVA Park, A Multi-User Virtual World For People With Aphasia. ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing,

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© ACM, 2017. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version will be available in published in ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing,
Uncontrolled Keywords:Aphasia; Field evaluation; Accessibility; Virtual worlds
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions:School of Health Sciences > Department of Language & Communication Science
School of Informatics > Department of Computing


Virtual worlds are used in wide-ranging ways by many people with long-term health conditions but their use by people with aphasia (PWA) has been limited. In contrast, this paper reports the use of EVA Park, a multi-user virtual world designed for PWA to practice conversations, focusing on people's emotional, social, and conversational experiences. An analysis of observation and interview data collected from 20 people with aphasia who participated in a 5 week therapy intervention revealed key themes related to user experience. The themes offer a rich insight into aspects of the virtual world experience for PWA that go beyond therapeutic outcomes. They are: affect (positive and negative), types of conversation, miscommunication and misunderstanding, immersion in the virtual world, social presence and initiative and flow. Overall, the study showed that participants experienced positive emotional and social outcomes. We argue that this was achieved as a consequence of EVA Park being not only accessible but also a varied and entertaining environment within which PWA experienced both the realistic and the quirky whilst engaging with others and having fun.

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