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Online social networks serve a number of functions for different individuals. For some, the primary focus is on building business networking connections. For others, it is a simple pastime or a process through which they can maintain connections with former colleagues, classmates or others. Social networking for the disabled however, is often more central – even critical – to their overall health and wellness. For many disabled individuals, their social networking activities are a lifeline and perhaps the only daily exposure they have to other people.
Disability takes its toll on individuals in many ways. For a large percentage of the disabled population, isolation and loneliness are everyday challenges. Many are homebound and have very limited contact with other people on a daily basis. Social networks provide essential interaction and give disabled individuals the chance to build and maintain relationships that would otherwise be outside their reach.
Granted, no online social network can take the place of real world interaction. For those who have limited options for gaining exposure to other people in their everyday lives due to limitations that result from physical or mental disabilities though, social networks on the internet can serve a real and critical purpose. They can provide a stable foundation, giving them access to a social network that would otherwise be impossible to maintain.
Some disabled people find the major or mainstream social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ sufficient for keeping their spirits up and for maintaining their interaction with friends, family and others. For other disabled persons, social media platforms which are specifically designed for serving the disabled population are more useful and relevant to their needs.
Disability specific social networking sites can include forums that are illness or ailment focused, like those that deal entirely with the challenges and issues faced by people with a particular condition like MS, for example. Or they can be sites that target the larger disabled population. There are also social media sites that are similar to Facebook and other popular platforms which are specifically designed for the disabled.
Popular online social networking sites for the disabled include utilities like Disaboom.com, Ablehere.com and Blueverse.net. Some of the top disability forums include Disabilityunited.com and Disabilityforum.gather.com. Each of these sites was created specifically to provide disabled individuals with a safe and supportive online platform for connecting with other disabled persons. In addition to these popular sites for the larger disabled community, you can find social networking opportunities by conducting an internet search specifically for “social media” and the kind of disability from which you suffer. For example, a web search for “MS social media” or “MS forums” will give you robust results.
The popularity of mainstream social media sites like Facebook and Google+ also offer some uniquely intriguing options for disabled persons as well. In fact, the ability to create groups and niche organizations on sites like Facebook has made it easy for disabled individuals to establish their own “sub-social-media” organizations through the larger social networking utility. These kinds of groups help build social networks for the disabled and provide them a wider social circle of people who understand their own condition. Many are able to build lasting relationships with others from around the globe that experience the same daily challenges as themselves.
This post is written by John Lewis and he works at PriceCollate. You can checkout the blog of website here.
This sounds like a good idea. Not that I’m disabled, but it isn’t something I come across frequently. I would think a few small niche sites for this demographic would be successful.
This is already the solution of the unsolved action to our brother who have a disabilities, I know that its just a start for many great things be happen…
That is great to know that your brother is able to reconnect to the world through social media.
This is a great idea to provide opportunities where they like to prove themselves that do not hinder their disability not do the things that normal people do.
I agree with the use of social media to help people with disabilities in any way possible. If they want to educate people regarding certain conditions, they can create a page in the popular social networks like Facebook.
Education is huge, but social media goes beyond simply educating people. It also opens up the world.
What a wonderful idea. I knew a guy online several years ago, who couldn’t use his hands or walk, I think he had muscular dystrophy. He was determined to go scuba diving, and through the internet and social media, he brought attention to himself and others. He met people who wanted to make his dream possible – he went scuba diving several times, and even had special gear made for him because he was on a respirator.
His nurse used to write for him, but he told her what to write. The internet opened up his world more than most could imagine.
Regards from Julieanne
That is a great story! It is the reason why the internet is so powerful, why we use social media.
What an opportunity! I haven’t actually thought of this, but surely, social media is a way for disabled people to come out of their little (probably hampered) world.
I have some friends who are disabled and this is exactly how they communicate with the world.
Social media has help the disabled reach more people. They are able to interact with fellow disabled and discuss their disability in forums.
There are some amazing benefits to social networking and interaction.