Australia is the only developed country where the preventable blinding disease trachoma is still endemic, but improved awareness and eye hygiene could eliminate it altogether.
To help eye health researchers at the University of Melbourne achieve their goal of eradicating trachoma by 2020, we created the worst interactive experience in the world - Visually Impaired Reality.
Unknowing participants were invited to take a virtual tour of an Indigenous community, seen through the eyes of a local. And this is when they went blind.
It was a confronting experience that is sadly all too real for Australia’s remote Indigenous communities, where you are three times more likely to lose your sight to this preventable disease than in other part of Australia.
The campaign raised awareness of the issue, and then actively became part of an education campaign within at-risk communities, where the technology provided children with an interactive way to learn about the importance of eye hygiene and the steps they could take to prevent the onset of trachoma.
Visually Impaired Reality was an immersive experience that didn’t just dramatise the problem, it became part of the solution.