Social Media Day
There’s no denying that social media has had a huge impact on the way people interact with the world and each other. One group social media has had a big impact on is the disability community. Each year, Social Media Day is celebrated in late June. To mark this year’s occasion, we thought we’d celebrate some of the innovative ways that people with disability are using social media:
Connecting with other people who have the same disability
A decade ago the only way for people to meet others with the same disability was through their local communities. Someone living in a small town might never have gotten the opportunity to meet someone else with the same disability. Today, thanks to social media, there are endless ways to connect with people from all over the world. There are numerous Facebook groups for people with specific disabilities, some with thousands of members. People can share stories, ask questions, gain invaluable advice and learn from the experiences of others who share their disability. Social media enables people with disability or chronic illness, including those who would otherwise be isolated, to connect with people who are in similar situations.
Sharing stories on their own terms
One in five people have a disability, but we don’t see that reflected in the media, on our screens or in the books that we read. Social media has become a powerful platform for people with disability to tell their own stories on their own terms. Many people with disability have forged successful careers as writers by blogging about their experiences living with a disability. Australian disability activist, Carly Findlay, started out blogging about her skin condition, Ichthyosis, and now writes for numerous media publications. She’s releasing her first memoir early next year.
Advocating for disability rights
Social media has become a powerful tool for advocacy, giving a voice to thousands of people in the disability community. People with disability are using social media platforms, such as Twitter, to influence decision making at all levels of society. Everything from encouraging a venue to become more accessible and to raising awareness of disability issues during elections. Lego even introduced characters with disability after a Facebook campaign called ‘Toy Like Me’ was created, which called on the global toy industry to start positively representing disability.
We’re excited to see what other innovative ways people with disability will use social media in the future!