Thursday, November 4, 2010

Working on the book chapter

Sarah and I are together in Portland, Oregon for the Housing Education and Research Association's Annual Conference. We have a presentation about The LiveAbility House tomorrow; we took some time today to work on the book chapter by reviewing edits from our peers and colleagues and putting the finishing touches on it before we submit.

Wouldn't The LiveAbility House look great with Mt. Hood in the background?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

OK, Sorry for the long delay

The blog has been neglected, but the project has not!

Please go to
to see what we've been up to lately!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Status Update

Although we haven't posted in a while, we have actually made quite a bit of progress!

We had to cancel the audio recording--again--because of the heat advisory. However, we finally managed to pull this off, and the unedited files are currently being cleaned up by a colleague at KSRE. We have about 8 minutes, total, of sound.

Another colleague has been working on putting the pictures together (the ones we took in Second Life). He and his student are anxiously awaiting the audio file, so that we can put it all together.

Sarah and I have been working on our submission to HERA--we are presenting about the project in November to the Housing Educators. Too, we were invited to write a book chapter, and we have crystallized our focus and begun that draft.

And I have been exploring the capabilities of "Softchalk" as a structure for all of these pieces, as well as working on a committee to plan a virtual fair in SL. It is likely that we will offer tours of The LiveAbility House to the public for several days as part of the educational offerings.

It has been busy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

If it isn't one thing...

We were all set up to do the audio recording of the script last Saturday. We have recruited four actors to play the parts of Sage, Bill, Katie and Derek. However, something happened to the sound booth at Hale Library, and we had to cancel. After investigating other options, we have an opportunity to use the radio booth over at McCain. Now the challenge is scheduling everyone! If it isn't one thing, it is another!

On the positive side, we did have a meeting to take the pictures we needed in SL. That worked out quite well, and we even improved Jeb, the service dog, by purchasing a Lab avatar! We just need to get that audio finished; then we can develop the slideshow.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Presentation and Handout

Visit the KSRE SageAdvice web site to find the presentation and handout from the June 8, 2010 presentation on The LiveAbility House:

Learning About Blogging

Sitting here at the eXtension national meeting in a session about blogging. The hope is to make this blog on The LiveAbility House better for the readers that like to keep up with the project. I'll include the best practices that I learn today into this blog...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Photo Shoot!

We are arranging a meeting in SL to bring together the four new avatars, Sage, Bill, Katie, and Derek for picture taking that is relevant to the script. Four people will work those avatars and one person will take the pictures .

We are looking at June 24, Thursday, from 8:30am-11:00am Central Time (if we need that long).

This next step of The LiveAbility House project is exciting. A few pictures of the characters are below.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


The script is coming along--should have a final by mid-May. Also met with the videographer and the instructional designer again. The videographer came with a slide show that he had put together as a demo. it was awesome! Really helped with motivation to continue to move the project along. Also, the ID took my rough plans and put them into SoftChalk and shared it with me so I could get an idea of what the structure would too, looks great.

Meeting soon (May 3) with Sarah and Andy to see where we are at with these smaller, separate pieces and how to bring it all together---finally. Also, meeting with Larry H to talk about the avatar creation and role play.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

baby steps

The drama therapy student is continuing to work on the script. Sarah and I had a meeting planned, but needed to cancel Shalin and I are meeting on the 16th at 1:30pm to do some more captures and continue to move forward. We have a meeting with eXtension about the military grant proposal on Friday (tomorrow) to receive some feedback. Like I said, baby steps...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Great Meeting!

I met with Shalin yesterday, the instructional designer at K-State. I am so excited about the possibilities we discussed. I have hired a K-State drama therapy student to help me develop a script, and we were discussing how best to present that information on line and in the field. Next, I need to talk with Sarah so we can take the next step.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Proposal for Funding

I wanted to let you know that we (TLH) are part of a proposal from the eXtension family caregiving CoP to improve and expand TLH to make it more applicable to military families. We would contract with K-State to do much of the work. The proposal is below.

The LiveAbility Home in Second Life®
Kansas State University and North Carolina State University and collaborators have partnered within Second Life® to create an educational tool, The LiveAbility House, for consumers. The goal of this initial project was: To demonstrate design features and assistive technology that enable a person to live at home despite physical or mental challenges caused by aging, illness, or disability. A simple prototype home designed to help caregivers understand universal design features and assistive technology devices has been built and is currently functional within the Second Life platform (see

The home has applicability to a military audience. Returning veterans who have injuries from the current conflicts need to become aware of how to create a home environment that supports their current level of ability and functional level. Increasing environmental competence for individuals within the home also benefits caregivers by assisting them to provide appropriate care and reduces the number of hours spent on caregiving and the costs for in home care. An adapted home also supports the family unit so that all individuals can co-exist in a friendly environment that supports environmental competence for all members.

In order for military families to fully take advantage of the educational opportunities and social networking offered by The LiveAbility Home, it must be enhanced. Funding would be used to develop and improve The LiveAbility House through the addition of features and content specific to military families. Ultimately, the goal of the project is to have an immersive and educational tool that military families can use to identify and incorporate into their own living environment those features and technology that may have applicability for their individual situation.

Specifically, we propose to:

• Recreate and adapt the current LiveAbility Home on a new Second Life island. This is necessary due to current technical constraints that limit further expansion in its current location.
• Expand and improve upon specific items in the home that are more specific to a military population (an example would be to include assistive technology items related to cognitive challenges for veterans with traumatic brain injury).
• Improve interactive features, including audio, two-dimensional visual text, and animations that can be manipulated by veterans and caregivers.
• Develop new content and add examples specific to military families.
• Create a marketing plan with specific outreach to military audiences.
• Create machinimas to assist with marketing efforts that are geared toward a military audience and that include situations relevant to veterans and caregivers.
• Evaluate the adaptations through evaluation within the Second Life environment with veterans and caregivers. Incentives will need to be provided to encourage participation.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Instructional Designer Feedback

I met with one of our instructional designers yesterday. I am very excited about the possibilities we discussed for bringing the LiveAbility House "out" to agents. We are even planning a pilot! Sarah and I will be seeing each other in Austin, TX for a CoP meeting (we'll be putting the military proposal together, and plan to present to the group about TLH in the hopes that we can include it as part of the comprehensive proposal) so she and I will discuss in more detail then. After that, we'll probably want to meet as a team and discuss!