Stepan Panov,

Head of the “Laboratory of inclusive gaming technologies”

Eugene Kukuev,

Scientific adviser

What do we do?

We conduct a study of the phenomenon of EXTRABILITY (additional human abilities – tactile, associative, strategic, and spatial thinking).

Welcome to the Laboratory of inclusive gaming technologies.

We want to find new ways to apply the special abilities of people with vision impairment in the open market. One of these ways is to hold inclusive events in the dark, where people with visual disabilities act as leaders, experts and key participants.

It is important to note that events in the dark with the participation of a blind or visually impaired coach is not an attempt to show to the sighted participants the hardships of life of blind people. We strive to inspire people without disabilities not through negative, but through a positive comparison of ourselves with coaches with visual disabilities, to experience and understand what skills and abilities of people with visual disabilities are better developed. Participating in events in the dark, skillfully conducted by trainers with visual disabilities, sighted participants discover new sensory, communication, creative, social and other personal characteristics, through which it is possible to interact with each other in a fun and useful way in complete darkness. The discovery of new abilities and skills allows sighted participants to enrich their lives and improve their quality. A separate area is: the search for inclusive methods and techniques that can be included in the educational process in Universities.

This is the work of the Laboratory of inclusive gaming technologies. At this stage, a pilot study of inclusive activities is conducted to form the directions and hypotheses of the laboratory.

Due to what sighted people discover new abilities in the dark under the guidance of blind coaches?

New sensory conditions allow sighted people to get out of the usual state and to discover new abilities, the use of which will be useful in everyday life. The blind coach helps to develop these abilities, who, in turn, has these skills on the highest level of development, as they train every day.

Analysis of the survey of 1215 participants of inclusive events allowed to summarize the description of the effects of events in the dark:

  1. 80 percent of participants noted that in the dark the ability to listen and hear increases, the concentration on the content of what is said increases and the motivation to understand what increases. This is due to the lack of distracting information and gadgets that supply it. All the attention, which is distributed over the environment and the constant flow of incoming information, in the dark is directed to the interlocutor.
  2. About 65 percent say that in the dark, participants note that they get more information about the interlocutor and what is happening through non-visual perception channels. Tone of voice, intonation, spatial sensation, perception of movement allow to understand the interlocutor more comprehensively and to understand his emotional state.
  3. 60 percent say that the focus on the sound allows you to closely monitor how well they have developed the skill of formulating their thoughts and expressing their own opinion. In the dark, the words parasites, weakness or strength of argument, emotional coloring of speech are perfectly audible. It allows sighted participants to understand their weaknesses and to develop a roadmap for the development of public speaking.
  4. 50 percent note that adapting to interaction in new sensory environments stimulates the search for non-standard solutions to known problems.
  5. 50 percent say that the new sensory conditions contribute to the state of openness and learning. Therefore, in the dark new material is absorbed especially well, a new culture is adopted and complex problems based on the difference of views and cultural attitudes are solved constructively.
  6. 100 percent of participants indicate that performing team tasks and exercises in the dark helps to accelerate the process of team building. This is due to the need for rapid establishment of non-verbal contact between the participants and the inability to avoid communication to solve the problem together.

Why blind coaches?

Because blind and visually impaired trainers, like no one else, have developed communication and interaction skills in the absence of visual information. Rehabilitated and adapted to life and work in the open market, blind coaches are able to teach sighted students to new techniques because they practice them every day of their life. In other words, blind and visually impaired coaches outperform the sighted in the dark thanks to their extrability.

Extrability (From extra and ability) – this is additional abilities that develop in a person with a disability due to adaptation to life with disabilities. The features of these abilities is that they are not in demand in a person’s life without disability, but due to the development of extrability, people with disabilities are qualitatively adapted to life and thus improve their quality of life. Extrability is a unique ability and skills that act as a competitive advantage for people with disabilities. The use and development of extrability in professional activities allows people with disabilities to occupy a competitive niche in the open market.

The development of extrability is based on a sense of inner dignity, mutual respect and value of experience in overcoming crisis situations. People with disabilities who have actualized such abilities, first experienced a deep psychological crisis, but emerged victorious. Many of them say that they have accepted their new life and destiny with gratitude. And it allowed them to take on the resources that had been hidden.

Before extrability attributed to compensatory abilities. However, the concept of compensatory abilities suggests that a person has violations that he compensates. The concept of extrability is based on the idea that a person has physical changes that lead to psychological, social and cultural changes. Moreover, the owners of extrability say that without disability, they would not be able to achieve such results.

Disability and extrability

The structure of the word “disability” indicates negative meanings associated with this concept. Thus, the concept of disability is associated with the idea of lack of abilities and opportunities. In turn, the concept of extrability is opposite in its meaning. Extrability is a positive assessment of adaptation skills that people with disabilities develop not in spite of, but because of their disability. Extrability develop only in a social context, they have social and economic value. Extrability is the ability that people with disabilities use in everyday life.

Extrability this is abilities and talents that have not been active, not been claimed before the disability.

Extrability of blind people:

  • excellent memory;
  • smell;
  • taction
  • hearing
  • developed imagination;
  • ability to generate non-standard solutions;
  • developed analytical thinking;
  • ability to competently operate with large amounts of information;
  • ability to make decisions in conditions of lack of information;
  • developed intuition;
  • trust in the world;
  • ability to rely on internal feedback;
  • ability to inspire confidence in others;
  • well supplied intonation;
  • good computer skills.

Extrability of people moving in a wheelchair:

  • assiduity;
  • ability to competently build logistics of events;
  • ability to choose (find) its circle – they rarely find themselves in those places, where they feel uncomfortable;
  • power skills are developed;
  • skills of planning of actions at obstacles;
  • search for creative and other abilities and skills;
  • developed motor skills;
  • they are subtle psychologists;
  • they communicate quickly and well, better than a person without disabilities.

Extrability of people with mental features:

  • sincerity;
  • emotionality;
  • openness;
  • communicative skills;
  • sincere expression of creative talents;
  • empathy.

Extrability of deaf people:

  • developed skills of visual attention;
  • strong communication within the community;
  • internal attentiveness to the condition of the body;
  • physical expressiveness;
  • expressiveness of gestures;
  • sensitivity to vibration;
  • non-standard thinking;
  • attention to details;
  • developed fantasy through the expression of feelings;
  • fields of view expand.

The obtained data of the pilot analysis of inclusive games, as well as selected extrabilities of different nosological groups allow us to form the research agenda of the Laboratory of inclusive gaming technologies of the University of Tyumen