The Internet assisting the disabled
Long Beach, CaAccording to a study by a leading disability research center, less than 10 percent of Americans with disabilities use the Internet. Now a newly launched website called DisabilityCentral.com is hoping to increase those numbers by providing people with disabilities with a unique, easy-to-use Internet site to help expand their knowledge, experience and friendships.
I see the Internet as an equalizer for people with disabilities, says Dr. Linda Stein of DisabilityCentral.com. Because one is not judged on appearances over the Internet. Dr. Stein is the director of DisabilityCentral.com, a website aimed at giving people with disabilities a common, virtual voice to share in cyberspace. DisabilityCentrals first web-based project launched this summer is called @ctivTeena one-of-a-kind Internet project managed by and for teens with disabilities. @ctiveTeen is supervised by Dr. Stein, a psychologist, who contracted polio as a baby and has personally dealt with a disability all of her life. I was mainstreamed as a child and teen and lived with that loneliness of being the only kid with a disability in school, says Stein. I wanted to use the Internet to enable other teens with disabilities to meet and build an online national/international community where they could talk with others who understand their life experiences.
Disability Central is an interactive, up-to-date site that encourages reader involvement and creates a community for people with disabilities of all ages. There are other sites for children and teens with disabilities, but they do not have support, information sharing, socializing groups, message boards, or an ezine managed by people with disabilities, says Stein. Opportunities like work and education that were previously unavailable to teens with disabilities are now readily accessible.
Stein says the goal of @ctiveTeen is to make it a full-service site that will provide educational experiences and peer counseling to assist teens in day-to-day problem solving as well as develop skills for future independent living. The site will also list fun activities like cartoons, puzzles, jokes, as well as providing an interactive community where youth can develop lifelong supportive relationships.
Future plans for DisabilityCentral.com include a parenting and sibling program, an online educational center, and its own web host company. The web-hosting element will provide accessible chat room and message board software, an international connection, Internet TV, employment connections, and volunteer opportunities. It will even provide an option to produce individual spin-off sites for people with disabilitiesi.e. www.Sarah.disabilitycentral.com
For more information on DisabilityCentral or the @ctiveTeen program, go to: http://www.DisabilityCentral.com or call Dr. Stein: (562) 619-7400. Media Outlets: For interviews with Disability Central executives, contact: Spread the News PR: (785) 842-8909 / firstname.lastname@example.org