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Showing posts with label disabilities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label disabilities. Show all posts

Monday, November 16, 2015

Disabilities, and How SL Helps People blend in with Society, Lilly Lacewing Reporting.


Disabilities, and Second Life, a match made in accessible heaven!

Second Life doesn’t just blur the lines of discrimination when it comes to the disabled, it can completely eliminate the lines altogether. I know this from firsthand experience, which is why I chose to do this long ‘overdue’ assignment.

In RL, I suffer from a rare, genetic connective tissue disorder, which to sum things up (otherwise this would BE the article,) it results in joints that don’t like to stay in place, pain, muscle spasms, and a host of myriad secondary systemic disorders. As a result, there are a lot of things I cannot do anymore in Real Life, but in Second Life? The possibilities are endless! I can ride horses again, climb hills and mountains, ‘walk’ through beautiful and serene landscapes without having to worry about my left hip staying in the socket.
That being said, I’ve experienced people run for the hills when they approach me and strike up conversation, but you’ll be happy to know that those are the exceptions, not the rule. Most people are happy to talk to me, sick or not, because in SL what does it really matter? The beauty of the anonymity of places like Second Life afford those who get stared at in RL grocery stores, to go hiking with their best friends in a totally immersive way. Want to FEEL like you’re actually doing that hike? Go into first person view, and BAM! You’re there, hiking up the side of a pyramid!

I took to the ‘streets’ in SL to see how others with disabilities have fared here in Second Life, and was lucky enough to come in contact with Brenda Brodie, a lady who finds joy in Second Life while dealing with Parkinson’s Disease in Real Life. She is heavily involved with Fran Seranade who, with her daughter Barbie Alchemi, created Creations Park*, to support Team Fox and raise awareness for Parkinson’s.  Here’s what she had to say.


Brenda: I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 30 years ago, at age 37.  I do very well considering the amount of time I have lived with PD.   I live alone, drive a car, locally only.  I cook, clean, etc. It takes me maybe 2 or 3 times longer than others to accomplish a chore, but I get it done and get it done right. (smiling)  Of course, there are days when I cannot do much but I concentrate on the good days. I am told that I do as well as I do because I have a positive attitude and follow my doctor's recommendations for medication schedule.  I also believe that the support from family and my acceptance of whatever comes to me in life helps me.  I started writing poetry after being diagnosed with PD.  Below you will find a sample which is from the heart.


I am member of the SL Creations for Parkinson's Support Group which was started by Barbie Alchemi. We meet every Friday, in SL, to discuss how we are dealing with the disease, our day to day living, emotional support, learning what is going on in research, etc. I hope to find a Speech Recognition program that is compatible with SL.  The one that came with my laptop does not work in SL.  With that in mind, there is a group called Virtual Ability that helps people with all disabilities. I am also a member of the SL Parkinson's support group.  It is comprised with a group of compassionate, caring and loving people.(*See below article for more information about their upcoming events to benefit Team Fox in Second Life!) 

 Brenda used to be a big fan of dancing, and riding her bike through the beauty of nature. When her body took that away from her, Second Life gave it back. She says she’s not personally experienced any actual discrimination, though people who didn’t know her have thought she was ‘drunk, because of all the typos and the slowness’ with which she types.
 At 87, she hasn’t let Parkinson’s win, and continues to fight it tooth and nail with happiness, positivity, and the help of her medications. I’m honored to have been able to meet Brenda, and to have her speak with me about Second Life, and how it can really be a benefit to those of us users who are disabled. People can’t discriminate against something they don’t even know is there, and I’ve found in SL, even when you tell them it’s there, most people don’t change. Only once have I personally experienced anyone walking away, and honestly, I’m glad for it. It was the type of person who hits on you when you have “I love my husband!!” smeared all over my profile, so it was no great loss. All in all, Second Life is a fantastic place for those with disabilities, for the freedom, socialization, and exploration it offers, not to mention all the artistic possibilities. I say, dive in! You won’t be disappointed!!


Creations Park

Poem by Brenda:
I WALKED ALONE THRU THE YEARS
IN A PLACE CALLED SECOND LIFE
A PLACE WHERE I MADE LOTS OF FRIENDS
YET I HAVE ALWAYS FELT ALONE
THE PEOPLE I HAVE MET OVER THE YEARS
ARE WONDERFUL INDEED
BUT I SOMETIMES FEEL SEPARATED FROM ALL OF THEM
BECAUSE THEY FIND IT HARD TO UNDERSTAND MY NEED
YOU SEE I HAVE PARKINSON'S
AND NEED TO FEEL SAFE FROM THIS DISEASE
AND NOW I HAVE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE…

..
***SEE OUR BOG CALENDAR FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS***  https://creationspark.wordpress.com

NOTE: The Festival area on Creations Park will be left up for you enjoyment through December 31st.

♥ ♥ ♥Here at CREATIONS PARK everything we do comes from the love in our hearts. This event is about people sharing their talents to create something positive in our world   。◕‿◕。VIDEO Please be sure to watch our award winning video about the benefits of SL for our 88 "years young" RL Mom who has Parkinson's. This will touch your heart! Ebbe Linden (CEO of Linden Labs) has called this the most important video ever made about Second Life! 

The Drax File: World Makers- Episode 13 Creations for Parkinson's  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyiiWxNguGo&feature=youtu.be

Our RL family felt a desire to give meaning and purpose to the hours we spent in-world. Our dad died with Parkinson's and our mother, Fran Seranade, has it now. To quote her "I may have Parkinson's, but it does not have me." At 88 years young, she is active in Second Life and is thrilled to see herself running, and dancing again. Those of us in Second Life can have fun while knowing we are making a difference in the real world. 

DONATIONS
100% of all donations go to Team Fox for The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. We believe it is important for you to know how your donations are being spent. Our family covers all tier and expenses so that all donations are given to research.

BE SURE TO VISIT ALL 6 UNIQUELY BEAUTIFUL LEVELS on CREATIONS PARK
ღღღ Loving Hugs from our Creations Family
Barbie Alchemi - Founder of Creations for Parkinson's
Fran Seranade - Our loving RL Mom

AlmostThere Inventor - RL brother

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Surprising Lack of “Accessibility” for the Disabled in SL- LillyLacewing Reporting.


Empty Halls in the Orthopedic Shops, and Disability Hangouts.

In a world where everything is accessible to those with physical limitations, I’m very surprised to see there aren’t more places dedicated to the disabled. With the exception of the A+A Orthopedic and Disability Hangout, all other inquiries either lead me to a landmark that traps me under the disability hangout’s actual floor (highly inaccessible, or places that are more like stores that sell a cane or two, here and there.


   With so many across the world suffering from debilitating and chronic illnesses, I’m sad to see there aren’t more places for those who are ill to gather together in a friendly, supportive community. The aforementioned shop seems to only host the occasional camper, and despite my exhaustive searches, I find nothing in the way of events for the disabled…unless you count the fetish type events. In this case I don’t, no offence meant to those with the fetish, but as a young disabled woman, I would love to be able to find a place where I can chat with those who not only understand my stories, but can share their own as well. That being said, I’d still gladly cover said, (and other,) fetishes in future articles!  ;)

A+A Disability, Orthopedic Shop, and Hangout: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Kilmarta/15/132/22


  For a world where everyone can find something to enjoy, once again, those with disabilities, just like in RL, are highly under represented. One stunning example of a place I cannot believe isn’t more heavily trafficked is Park Art at Frantastica. Park Art is a location for those suffering from Parkinson’s to share their art. Before visiting Frantastica, I never realized that one of the facets of Parkinson’s, a painful and debilitating movement disorder, included a strong creative, and artistic drive.  This is often exacerbated by their medications.

Slurl for Park Art at Frantastica:


  One example of a location I wish had more little green dots when I hover over the mini-map? Virtual Ability, one of the most detailed, and resource heavy disability locations in SL. They feature classes to help disabled newbies learn the ins and outs of Second Life, and host a “garden” where you can find large amounts of art inspired by all types of disabilities. I’ve been there a handful of times, and am always the only one there.

Virtual Ability:


  After much hunting and searching I came across a place called The Haven, a club for the disabled, and home to the Crip Chicks Club, a club for wheelchair bound/disabled women. Both the main dance floor, and the CCC were deserted. As was Taupo Aquatic Center, and Club Access Elite, an aquatic sports center for the disabled. After taking a quick, easy, therapeutic dip, I gave up my search for the day, disappointed to be the only soul present at all these places with such great potential.

The Haven:


  For such a large community, we sure do seem to be overlooked so easily. That being said, I obviously have not explored ALL the options out there, because not every one is easy to find via the usual search term buzz words. If I’m wrong, and some of you know of places that are bouncing and wiggling, (because we won’t be jumping, and running…) please IM me to let me know all about your disabled hangout!

Taupo Aquatic Center and Club Access Elite:

 For now, though, I’m simply grateful that places like Second Life exist at all, because I couldn’t just pack it on up, and go to the beach in RL without it causing me massive pain, let alone climb up the mountains, surf, ride the horses, carnival rides, and many, many more activities I’ve missed in RL and can now happily do again in SL.  


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Virtual Ability, Inc. – an Interview with Gentle Heron- Stareyes Galaxy Reporting...



Virtual Ability, Inc. is a non-profit organization helping disabled people in Second Life ©. Gentle Heron is the Chairman of the Board of Virtual Ability, running things both on the real Life (RL) and Second Life (SL) side. 
As Virtual Ability is about to launch one of their two main annual conferences, Stareyes Galaxy had an opportunity to have a chat with Gentle, about Virtual Ability and the life of people with disabilities on SL.



Thursday, May 9, 2013

Making the Impossible Possible- Sarahelisebeth Brenham Reporting…




Many people who have disabilities come to virtual environments to live out their dreams without limitations. Let me tell you about a RL organization that helps the disabled online.

Virtual Ability is a nonprofit corporation that is based in Colorado, U.S.A., in the Real Life realm. It was created for the purpose to assist those with handicaps and their loved ones, as well as those in the medical field, via online programs. Their virtual headquarters is located in Second Life. There is so much to do at this sim. Come with me as we explore each area and its corresponding activities of this place.

Friday, February 1, 2013

SL Newser News: (Dis)Ability in Second Life Research- DrFran Babcock Reporting...



This week on Virtual Ability Island, Ambrosia108 Azalee discusses her ongoing research study about Second Life and its disabled residents. Her second discussion is tomorrow at 8AM SL time. For her first, DrFran Babcock was there in the audience, and wrote about the event.

Read More

Friday, November 9, 2012

‘Virtual Ability’ and disabilities within Second Life – Jaded Exonar Reporting......


For many of us, Second Life is a virtual playground of possibilities, a light-hearted virtual holiday from reality - But for some, it’s a lifeline.


In the United States alone, according to the Congressional Committee findings for the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), 43 million citizens out of the total population of about 250 million are disabled. That’s 17%, (one in five) who have some type of disability. This makes disabled people the largest minority group in the U.S.  In the same way that real life poses challenges to anyone with disabilities, Second Life does too.  How would your first day in SL have been if you had control of only one finger to type, or were using voice recognition software to control your computer? 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Introducing Virtual Ability -NemzKat Resident Reporting...

Path of Support

Virtual Ability has been building communities of support for people with disabilities in virtual worlds since 2007.


Studies are showing that bringing people with mental disabilities into virtual worlds is good for and benefits them. And many of you are probably thinking, what does this have to do with anything? Well, that’s what Virtual Ability is about. It helps people with mental disabilities to come into the worlds, and be successful with them. But SL is not the only world they do this is, but is what we will be talking about.

Virtual Abilities is present in both real life, and Second Life.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Virtual Abilities Island- One of Second Life's most prominent places for those with special needs





VAI (Virtual Abilities Island) is one of Second Life's most heard about places on the grid, mostly because it helps those with disabilities get involved in the virtual world, Second Life.

It is a place where people help people  from all over the world. Currently VAI was recently the subject of a rl documentary Called Login2Life.

The Sim is friendly and  well designed to cater to all walks of life. The volunteers on the island provide their time and energy and never turn a person away.

Teleport to the Welcome Center: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/128/128/27

Supporter & volunteer, Steve Rumsford is planning to do a special event to help raise awareness and  money for the Sim. His  idea is to do an event that has a cash prize, so he is asking for your help with  donations towards the prizes so  many people to come to Virtual Abilities Island



Please check out  VAI  and if you feel you can donate anything please do so, it doesn't matter if its 1L 20L or 100L.  All donations will go to the event prizes so that they can throw one heck of a fundraising party!

Contact Steve Rumsford  or donate here!

VAI Wishing Well: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/146/126/23

www.VirtualAbility.org


 
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