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Helping women with disabilities participate and be heard.

A youtube video of a woman signing travel advice for DeafPlanet - with captions too!

Web 2.0. Such a sterile name for something so personal.

And Web 2.0 is personal. It is a conversation and a medium, an equaliser and a democratiser. It takes the stories previously shared to thousands by a select, privileged few (whether in free or unfree media) and bursts them wide open. With basic internet access, social media tools and free blogging sites, anyone can share news, say what they think about it, and help decide the agenda of their local and worldwide communities.

Web 2.0 gives people a voice. There aren't many pieces of technology that can say they do that.

Given its flexibility and freedom, the potential of Web 2.0 for empowering women in both developed and developing countries is clear. It allows women to speak, and therefore concretely and measurably become a part of history. No longer can historians ignore the experiences of women, and with only 16% of women being the focus of global news stories, this is important. Finally, women’s voices can be shouted from the (metaphorical) rooftops.

However, if giving women a voice worldwide is important, the empowerment of women with disabilities is even more vital. Since they make up just 10% of all women globally, women with disabilities are even less likely to be heard than other women. Already, research for the World Bank notes that women with disabilities report “feeling “invisible” in the development context and largely absent from the development agenda”. Elsewhere, in my own childhood, I remember being told by a soon-to-be-close-friend that she thought (before she met me) that all deaf people looked like they had Downs Syndrome.

This has to change.

And Web 2.0 can help change it.

When done right, the internet is a powerful tool for women with a disability. Facilities for enlarging text, describing graphics, uploading videos with sign language, providing transcripts or captions, are just some of the things giving women with disabilities access to information they would not otherwise hear or see. Elsewhere, Twitter, Facebook and webpages, allow communities to be developed worldwide based on shared experience and knowledge about – or in spite of – disability.

As a deaf woman, I already use Web 2.0 tools to make myself heard and make worldwide connections. I’ve met deaf people in Mongolia and even started a website called DeafPlanet that provides travel advice in sign language (with captions) for deaf, hard of hearing and signing Australians. Now, with my and others’ experiences on record, history can show that deaf women and other women with disabilities, are independent, strong, capable women. No pity party for us. We're just like you. Only different.

Web 2.0? Women worldwide – with disabilities or without – welcome you.

Comments

Dando's picture

powerful article

First and fore most I want to congratulate you for participating in the VOP, we are really blessed that you are part of this global movement of women. You are really a powerful strong woman who believes in equality for all regardless of their status. For sure this the internet is a place for anyone, and the disabled are given the opportunity to express themselves in different ways.

I hope we will continue networking coz I have a passion for the disabled and also want to contribute to their welbeing.

well done gal and best

Dando's picture

powerful article

First and fore most I want to congratulate you for participating in the VOP, we are really blessed that you are part of this global movement of women. You are really a powerful strong woman who believes in equality for all regardless of their status. For sure this the internet is a place for anyone, and the disabled are given the opportunity to express themselves in different ways.

I hope we will continue networking coz I have a passion for the disabled and also want to contribute to their welbeing.

well done gal and best

deafplanet's picture

re: powerful article

Thank you so much for your kind words! It means a lot to me.

I find too though, that while the internet is an important part of empowering women, including those with disabilities, that having people on the ground - like Chapo who you wrote about in your journal- is vital too. Many thanks for sharing that with us too. I really look forward to hearing more from you.

x (ps keep in touch). x

olutosin's picture

This is beautiful

Web 2.0 is all in all inclusive. I love your angle my dear sister. I am so happy that you are with us here, and I look forward to read more of your entries my lovely lady.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

deafplanet's picture

Thank you so much! I feel

Thank you so much! I feel really lucky that I get to have such meaningful, thoughtful discussions with wonderful women like yourself from all around the world. x

Aida Dervishi's picture

I think you are a great

I think you are a great example for women to follow!
Congratulations on your great work!

Warm Regards,
Aida.

deafplanet's picture

Aida, Your comments and your

Aida,

Your comments and your work warms my heart - so thank you for your feedback! I completely agree with you about your thoughts that the Web makes it possible to interact with inspring women across the globe and exchange valuable knowledge and resources ;-) It really is true that what makes World Pulse distinct is the fact that every participant is straving to achieve local and global change. What a wonderful thought :)

Take care and keep in touch.

Hil
P.s i recently had the privilege to visit Albania - what a beautiful country and landscape you have!

lydia's picture

well crafted and engaging!

Thank you for using this journal assignment to share what is deeply meaningful to you in an engaging way! You exemplified how personal Web 2.0 can really be and how many possibilities to learn and share are out there for so many types of women. Keep building your strong, personal and engaging voice--you are a needed advocate for women worldwide with disabilities! I hope to learn more about DeafPlanet and your unique experiences over the next few weeks.
Best,
Lydia

deafplanet's picture

Thanks so much! Can't wait to

Thanks so much! Can't wait to talk more about DeafPlanet and my experiences over the coming few weeks! The web has made so much difference to so many people - it is a wonderful tool!

lolatsai's picture

Influential

Thank you so much for sharing these words with us! You have shined light on a topic that is seldom talked about. I love that you are on this platform...I know what you create with deafplanet will be hugely influential. I look forward to hearing more about how the project expands!

Thank you!

Blessings,
Lola

Love & blessings,
Lola

www.oneglowinglife.com

deafplanet's picture

Lola your words are very kind

Lola your words are very kind - thank you! I do strongly believe that the experiences of women with a disability needs to be talked about regularly and strongly! The need for improved literacy and financial security among many women with a disability is high!

Hil x

Jules at Womens Fund's picture

Inspirational

You write so powerfully and eloquently about what social media can do for all women, women with disabilities and social movements in general. You possess truly great communication skills and I thank you for sharing with me (and us!) your perspective. Onward!

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