Helping People in the Virtual World

Posted by – January 29, 2008

In Second Life, my “avatar” is Namav Abramovic.

I’m involved in several projects. Heron Sanctuary (and Namav) are already getting some ink in the Second Life blogosphere.

Medicaid reform activist Namav Abramovic read about people with disabilities using Second Life in the Washington Post, and logged in for the first time on October 20, 2007. Because he has muscular dystrophy, he uses a ventilator to breathe. Namav can’t use a keyboard, or lift his hands at all. As he told Gentle, “I type with my thumb on a trackball mouse and click out text by hitting letters on onscreen keyboard software. I had run a support group online in the past, and am interested in using virtual community to support people with disabilities. I joined The Heron Sanctuary in November, and now have founded Open Gates, a THS project to provide 24/7 peer support in Second Life.”


Read the full article:

The Story of The Heron Sanctuary


This is the notecard I hand out about my Open Gates project in Second Life:

Open Gates Peer Support community is a group for Second Life residents with disabilities -ANY disability– to turn for support.

Living with a disability can be difficult (understatement) and our goal is to be a desperately-needed 24/7 support channel. for people with disabilities in SL. The gates are always open.

People who need someone to talk to can simply IM the group and type in the Open Gates channel, and chat there, or use it to ask to IM or meet privately.
Your hosts are Namav Abramovic and Kat Klata; IM one of us to join the group or just for someone to lean on. Remember that once you join the group, you’ll see calls on the Open Gates channel 24/7.

Though only for peer support (and not intended as a substitute for professional advice) we hope we can help people.

Open Gates Peer Support is a project of The Heron Sanctuary, a support community for people with disabilities.
To learn more, please click http://www.theheronsanctuary.info/wiki/