VR Game Helps Those with Learning Disabilities

May 12, 2022

Five students from the UX/UI Design and Development, M.A. program represented New York Tech at MIT’s annual international extended reality (XR) Reality Hack hackathon.

This was the first time that members of the Department of Digital Art and Design attended the prestigious invitation-only event, which took place from March 23 to 27 at MIT’s campus in Cambridge, Mass. The students, along with Assistant Professor of Digital Art and Design Kevin Park, were among more than 450 participants. Sponsored by Microsoft, Snapchat, Looking Glass Factory, and other XR giants, the event provided an excellent opportunity for students to connect with the industry’s leading companies.

The field of UX/UI design and development is founded on human-centered design strategies, including an understanding of the ways that different users process information. New York Tech’s team took this guiding principle to heart when they presented their virtual reality (VR) learning game, “BRIDGED XR.” The VR game aims to improve lesson retention and make lessons more enjoyable for middle schoolers with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and ADHD.


Pictured clockwise from far left: Lavin Armarnani, Mohammed Irfan Shaik, Assistant Professor Kevin Park (standing), Labdhi Turakhia, Kyle Diaz, and Avarna Agarwal

“BRIDGED XR” allows users to view the shapes of “scattering” countries, “pick them up,” and apply them to a larger map. For example, Italy and France are dragged and dropped onto a map of Europe, helping users to understand each country’s geographic location within the continent, as well as spelling, shape, and even pronunciation through the game’s audio feature. The impressive project led the team to the Reality Hack semi-finals.

UX/UI Design and Development, M.A. students involved in this project include:

  • Kyle Diaz, team lead and UX designer
  • Lavin Amarnani, lead engineer and UX designer
  • Mohammed Irfan Shaik, assistant engineer and UX designer
  • Labdhi Turakhia, UX/UI designer
  • Avarna Agarwal, UX/UI designer

“BRIDGED XR” is designed to be adapted to a variety of subjects. As a next step, the team aims to add subjects like math and science to make these topics more accessible to individuals with learning disabilities.

Learn more and view a demo.