New site to bring disability community together
Asia-Pacific, December 5 2016
AUSTRALIA: A new social network will be officially launched to help connect the disability community across Australia and all over the world.
Known as the My Disability Matters Club (mydisabilitymatters.club), the free online resource is a place for people affected by disability to meet, share ideas, seek advice and find support.
My Disability Matters Club founder, Dale Reardon, says the site was specially designed to overcome many of the accessibility and ease-of-use issues people with disabilities often face with existing social networks.
‘Discussing disability issues on existing social networks can also cause things like bullying and trolling,’ he said.
‘We’re creating a safe, supportive environment where disability issues can be discussed without fear.’
The idea for the site was born out of a desire to improve the lives of people with disabilities, Mr Reardon said.
‘Living with disability can be lonely and very challenging.
‘Despite over one billion people worldwide living with disability,1 many do not have access to the information and resources they need that could make their lives better. Many do not feel a sense of community.
‘I have been a person with vision disability for almost 30 years, and personally understand many of the struggles and discrimination that people with disabilities face.
‘The My Disability Matters Club is a place that helps empower people with disabilities and give them a voice. It’s a place where you are not alone.’
The site will also play a key role in supporting people as they grapple with the national roll-out of the NDIS in Australia.
‘We see advocacy and helping people get advice on what the NDIS means for them as an important part of what the club can offer,’ said Mr Reardon.
The online community is also connected to the My Disability Matters News (mydisabilitymatters.news) service, helping people quickly and easily stay up to date with the latest information and events.
‘There is no other centralised source for disability news in Australia,’ Mr Reardon said.
‘We publish content from around the world. There are also stories written by people with disabilities, which contrasts with disability journalism in the mainstream media, which is often written by non-disabled journalists.
‘The My Disability Matters Club and News sites are like a daily newspaper and social network for the global disability community, all in one.’
In the future, Mr Reardon said My Disability Matters will continue to be shaped by the needs of the disability community.
‘My Disability Matters has been created by people with disabilities, for people with disabilities,’ he said.
‘Our catch phrase is “nothing about us, without us”.
‘We will continue to seek the feedback and involvement of the disability community to guide our future development, features and initiatives.’