Who Can Participate?
Who can participate in Ability Online?
Anyone who is interested in joining can. It certainly attracts a lot of young people with disabilities and illnesses, but the whole point is to have an integrated community, proving the point that there are no disabilities online. So, welcome aboard. Just register with Ability Online using your real name and a password. New members complete an online registration form, abd then receive a phone call to verify information. The information provided is kept confidential and secure.
Ability Online can be accessed from any computer/device connected to the Internet. Once your membership is activated, you can jump online and exchange public or private messages on a whole range of topics ranging from medical mysteries to animal stories. We also offer lively chat facilities, skill development modules, games and activities. And we’re especially proud of our mentors, who provide patient and caring peer support.
Importantly, there are also specialized topic threads for parents, caregivers and other professionals looking for help, feedback or just the mutual support and understanding that isn’t always easy to find when you’re out there on your own. In fact, our whole approach is based on a holistic model of support; let us tell you a bit more about that...
Behind the Ability Online service is a deep-rooted approach to recovery, rehabilitation and personal growth (aimed at increasing independence) that looks at five functional domains – physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual. This is based on a therapeutic model of support that is tailored to meet the needs of each member, across these 5 domains. Accordingly, there are activities and functions on the site that suit all levels of ability.
The level of intervention required varies depending on need. It has been our experience that children need lots of intervention and support when in treatment and recovery, and less intervention during the more independent, transitional stages and when they’re at home.
Individual participation contributes to personal growth and development. However, needs change over time, as does the individual’s level of online participation. Some members have greater emotional needs, and thus stay involved for greater periods of time for ongoing support. Others have greater social needs and enjoy the opportunity to build lasting relationships online in a bully-free, protected environment. Still others may be mobility restricted (physically, geographically or through lack of transportation), and have limited opportunities to meet people or find others to whom they can relate.
And it’s worth mentioning one more time that we have hosts who monitor all of the public content to make sure it’s friendly and appropriate, and to be a constant source of support for all of our members who could use a friend, or who need help communicating with others.
The accessibility of the technology and global connectivity made available by Ability Online opens up a world of opportunities. And while all the leading players in the field of technology are working overtime to ensure that the online world is well on its way to trustworthy computing, we recognize that there’s still some distance to travel to reach that goal. A protected online environment is a concern that is of paramount importance for our members and their parents. Let us set your mind at ease by explaining more specifically how we approach the task of taking care of you and yours when they are online with us.