Life is scary. Wouldn't it be so much better if we could have a practice run to get it right? Well, some students actually get that chance!

In the Special Education District, D75, in New York City, students with Autism, Developmental Delays, and Physical Challenges can practice life skills in a safe environment. Cara Coffina, Coordinator of the 3-D Worlds Project, has set up a virtual world in collaboration with the on-line learning group, Learning Times.

Students make friends, apply for jobs, gather in interest groups, plan 'virtual' block parties, rent apartments and buy furniture on an island in Second Life, the virtual world. They control their environment,sounds, sights, where they go, who they talk to, and what they choose to do; all a rare commodity in the world of students with Special Needs. The seeds of independence take root. The 'real world' is not quite so scary...

For more information:

Susan Abdulezer
Video Producer
District 75 NYC Department of Education

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