Monday, February 11, 2013

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Second Life Helps the Disabled Have a Better First Life (Comment of the Week)

Ayesha Lytton How SL Helps the Disabled

Solace Beach Estates owner Ayesha Lytton offered this excellent insight in last week's post about Fran Seranade, the 85 year old woman with Parkinson's who reports recovering physical movement after using SL, and her real life daughter Barbie Alchemi, who created and hosts the sim within the Solace estate:

"I have met Barbie, Fran's daughter, in real life, and I am also their landlord in SL. They are fantastic women who are doing so much to help people with Parkinson's Disease. I'm so happy to be a part of their project.

"I have a disability myself, and while I can't attribute any physical improvements to SL, it has certainly changed my life for the better. I too enjoy dancing in SL, and doing things I can't in RL. Most importantly, I've met many wonderful friends. My SL friends helped me gain the courage to escape a RL abusive relationship, rebuilt my self-esteem, and helped me heal emotionally. My horizons have expanded as I've taken several road trips to meet SL friends. I have a SL business for 5 years now and I'm building a new RL career in part from SL.

"This platform has so much potential to help people with physical limitations, and indeed the world, if only its creators would start to take an interest again. I still believe that virtual worlds are the future, and we are the pioneers."

This is all well said, and justifiably so. While many, many things about SL remain aggravating and disheartening, this is one certainty that's remained the case throughout the years: Whatever its shortcomings, Second Life is a platform that can and often has helped give the physically disabled in real life a better first life.

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