Virtual reality delivers accessible national parks

Virtual reality delivers accessible national parks

A new virtual reality experience coupled with Auslan storytime sessions will offer people with disability the chance to participate more in everyday life.

Through the City of Sydney’s libraries, Sydneysiders can take part in the free, inclusive experiences in June and July.

A storm brews overhead Remarkable Rocks in Flinders chase National Park on sunset.

‘Parallel Parks’, an immersive experience using virtual reality headsets, will enable people with disability to access some of Australia’s best national parks.

Storytime sessions in Auslan and English aim to help pre-school aged children who are deaf or have a hearing impairment develop an early love of reading and social interaction.

All Abilities Musical Jam and story time at Customs House Library as part of City Inclusion (disability) Action Plan

“We’re proud to provide programs that help make our city a more accessible and inclusive place for people of all ages and abilities,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“We’re excited to offer these unique experiences for everyone to try at three of our library branches.

“The City has strong policies and plans to ensure our area is welcoming to all, and programs like these in our local libraries can help improve people’s happiness and positive mental health.”

Parallel Parks 2

Presented by the Deaf Society and City library staff, the Auslan and English storytime at Glebe Library is a fun session of storytelling and craft for both hearing and deaf children aged 3 to 5 years and their families.

The Parallel Parks virtual reality experience will transport participants to three Australian national parks – the Great Barrier Reef, Kangaroo Island, and the Murray River.

Judi Higgin, CEO of New Horizons, the creators of Parallel Parks, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the City of Sydney to offer this experience through some of its libraries.

“Parallel Parks was developed to allow people with disability and others access to some of our national parks and be immersed in nature. This experience means everyone can see the wonder of Australian nature and take a moment to relax and dive into spectacular scenery.”

Murray-River-Parallel-Parks

Auslan and English storytime
Glebe Library
Every Saturday until 7 July, 2pm–2.45pm

Parents or guardians are required to stay during the session. Bookings are not required but session numbers are limited so early arrival is recommended.

Parallel Parks
Customs House, Glebe and Kings Cross libraries
Friday 1 and Saturday 2 June, during library opening hours

Over two days, three of the City’s libraries will be transformed into virtual reality national parks. Each library will have a different national park to explore and visitors can drop in anytime during library opening hours.

Great Barrier Reef at Customs House Library
Friday 10am–7pm
Saturday 11am–4pm

Kangaroo Island at Glebe Library
Friday 9am–6pm
Saturday 10am–4pm

The Murray River at Kings Cross Library
Friday 10am–6pm
Saturday 10am–4pm

For more information on the disability inclusion program and further details about what’s on at the City’s libraries, visit whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Advisor, Elaine Kelly on 0477 362 550 or ekelly@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Julia Lenton.
Phone 0410 748 039 or email jlenton@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au