Background of the organization:
Since 1990, Ability Online has been offering a free, secure, monitored online environment that enables youth of different abilities to be themselves without fear of judgement. This community allows for safe social interactions with peers and mentors, where youth can complete school homework with assistance from mentors, practice social skills, make friends and improve their mental health. Support and resources are also provided for families, friends, and education and health professionals.
In this time of social isolation, online communication has been one of few ways that people can feel connected. For people living with physical and intellectual disabilities, and in particular for young people with such disabilities, the online world can offer a safe and welcoming alternative. Ability Online, a leading organization in this field, is experiencing a surge in membership, individual logins, and time spent on its website, and is requesting support to accelerate an already-planned operational upgrade in order to better respond to increased demand.
Ability Online will launch an updated, fully accessible and mobile friendly version of their online community platform, which was last updated in 2011. Support from the Foundation would allow Ability Online to quickly relaunch their “Young Adult” and “Parent” sections with new functionality that will provide multiple ways to interact.
- COVID-19 Emergency Funds