The LiveAbility House

Family Caregiving August 01, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

What is Second Life®?

Front of The LiveAbility House

Second Life® is a free, Internet-based virtual world. Global users, called residents, interact with each other within the Second Life® environment in real time. Some residents simply visit places or events, while others may actually choose to create their own. Residents choose what and who to visit within Second Life®. Social activities such as dances and concerts, recreational pursuits such as skydiving and golfing, educational opportunities, such as attending lectures or attending classes, are just a few examples of things that Residents can do. Search functions help residents find events and items of interest.

What is The LiveAbility House Project?

Inside The LiveAbility House


Follow the purple dots to learn about assistive technology


Follow the orange dots to learn about universal design

Kansas State University and North Carolina State University have partnered within Second Life® to create educational tools for consumers. The LiveAbility House is a virtual demonstration home, designed to teach individuals about real life universal design principles and assistive technology devices that may increase their ability to remain living at home despite physical or cognitive challenges they may encounter due to aging, illness, or disability.

The LiveAbility House, a 3-D home, was built in the Second Life® environment. The house uses universal design features and assistive technology to show how homes can be built and adapted as people age or for people with disabilities.

What will I do in The LiveAbility House?

Long-handled toilet bowl brush and the purple dot


Type of information shown when a dot is clicked
  • You may tour the home and see universal design features and assistive technology in place and in use.
  • Throughout the home, read and hear information at kiosks explaining universal design, assistive technology, and caregiving.
  • The orange dots show universal design features. The purple dots identify assistive technology items (please see the photographs for examples). In the LiveAbility House, you can follow all the orange dots to learn about universal design and then follow all the purple dots to learn about assistive technology. You also may go room by room and explore the universal design features and assistive technology devices together.
  • Each time you click on a dot, you will see the name, description, and a real-world photograph of that feature or item in use.
  • At the end of the tour, you will be asked to evaluate your learning through an online survey.

How can I find out more?

  • Please click on the following links to view videos about eXtension and Second Life®:
    • Cooperative Extension in Second Life®,Video-1 (0:46 seconds).
    • Cooperative Extension in Second Life®, Video-2 (2:02 minutes).
  • View videos about The LiveAbility House project:
    • Accessibility House Project, (early in the project development) Video-1(2:46 minutes).
    • A Group Tour of the LiveAbility Home,Video-2(4:26 minutes).

How can I enter The LiveAbility House?

  • To enter The LiveAbility House, you must have a Second Life® account. To learn more about Second Life®, please visit:

What if I need help?

If you have questions about Second Life® or The LiveAbility House, please contact LuAnn Phillips, eXtension Virtual Worlds Coordinator, luann.phillips@extension. You may also contact her in Second Life® by sending an instant message to her avatar, Thynka Little.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.