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Colleagues,

Virtual worlds can provide military amputees with an opportunity to enhance their overall quality of life, expedite their reintegration into society, and improve their physical and mental wellness. ADL Company Inc. (ADL) and Virtual Ability, Inc. (VAI) have announced the start of a project to establish best practices and protocols for the provision of on-line peer-to-peer support services to this community, with funding from the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) of the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC)...

... The Amputee Virtual Environment Support Space (AVESS) project will research the peer support needs of the military amputee community and establish protocols and prototypes for addressing those needs in a virtual environment. AVESS will be developed by ADL and VAI, who are partners in the project...

... Recent US military casualty figures for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom indicate that between September 2001 and mid-January 2009 over a thousand amputation injuries occurred. Of the 935 amputations considered major, one in five wounded warriors lost more than one limb. While the rehabilitation goal is for the soldier to return to active duty, many reintegrate into their civilian communities. In either case, military amputations are often accompanied by additional wounds, depression, fear, phantom limb pain, and post traumatic stress disorder...

... Peer support groups help recent amputees gain the experience and confidence and practice the skills necessary to proceed with their rehabilitation. Support groups can also assist family members and spouses with their caregiving issues and concerns...

... “Our mandate is to explore new technology and how it can support service personnel. This is an exciting project for TATRC because it will let us define what we see as a potentially effective way to provide another form of support to military amputees,” said Ashley Fisher, Program Manager at TATRC...

Read on at: http://virtualability.org/press_releases.aspx

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