If you have been following Jo and I for some time you will know that I (Dale) have a seeing eye dog (guide dog) called Charlie and he is my fourth guide dog. I lost my sight at age 17 and have been involved with the disability community ever since.
One of the great things with the internet is the existence of social media – be that Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc – however for people with disabilities online social media can be a very stressful and damaging place. Sadly there are a lot of people with nothing better to do than bully, troll and harass disabled people; just because they are different in some way or perhaps don’t communicate in the same way as others. I myself have been bullied and harrassed online and Facebook just doesn’t care at all about this occuring. Facebook tells you to just block the person/s and ignore them but that is not a reasonable solution. This leaves the other person free to keep spreading their hatred or bullying message.
Because I know how beneficial an online community can be, and that peer support from other disabled people is very useful and helpful, Jo and I launched the online community My Disability Matters disability community in November 2016 and it has been growing ever since. We call it the MDM Club. You can read my full reasons for launching the My Disability Matters community and how it requires a tolerance and respect pledge from all users when joining the community, which is working really well.
The MDM Club community now has approximately 2500 members and they are all engaging in great discussions, whether it is about disability issues or just life in general. People are coming from all over the World – USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and of course Australia.
Of course with the rollout of the NDIS around Australia including in Tasmania we hope to help people with their queries about the NDIS.
Approximately 20% of the population is disabled and of course on top of that there is their family, friends, carers and associated businesses so we are sure that some of our readers here will be involved with disability issues and could benefit from the My Disability Matters online social community. It is free to join for individuals so please take a look or tell your friends and colleagues about it for us.
In addition to the MDM Community we have also created a Disability news, opinion and discussion website where you can read about the latest disability news and opinions.
We have more plans for further disability resources which you can learn about at our corporate site for My Disability Matters Worldwide Corporate Site
We welcome any help you can give in promoting My Disability Matters or please talk to us if you want to discuss any partnership, advertising or sponsorship opportunities. We are also very pleased to report that The Benevolent Society, Australia’s first charity and largest disability services provider, has already come on board as a sponsor.
We have also created a disability charity to work alongside the rest of My Disability Matters and to help promote equality and employment opportunities for the disabled. As we expand the MDM Community, we hope to employ many disabled people.