November 18, 2011

By: 
Rachel Strella

Social Media: Eliminating Communication Barriers for Those with Disabilities

Last night, I had the pleasure of presenting to a group of deaf and hard of hearing (HOH) individuals through a program hosted by the Center for Independent Living of Central PA (CILCP). The program was made possible by a grant, which provided CART service and two interpreters.

I, too, have a hearing disability. I was drawn to social media because of the way we can communicate via message and text.   I watch movies with subtitles, so I am ‘programmed’ to read text rather than follow conversation in the traditional face-to-face manner.

My presentation focused on ways that social media can break down barriers – real or perceived – for those with limitations and aid in helping them to find employment.

For those who have a disability, social media is an opportunity to showcase what they CAN do, rather than what they can’t. It gives them an opportunity to have others get to know them as ‘a person,’ rather than a person with a disability.

I am amazed by the individuals I met last night. Most were deaf, and yet, they owned businesses, worked for government agencies and contributed to the community. They had families, friends, funny stories and everything else.  They have chosen not to be victims, but rather to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of the people around them.

What an inspiration! They are proof that the adage holds true:  you get out of life, what you put into it.

I always wanted a career where having a hearing disability didn’t matter and where I could help people. And, thanks to social media, I can have both.

Who’s inspiring you today?

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5 comments on “Social Media: Eliminating Communication Barriers for Those with Disabilities”

  1. I agree! I really enjoyed last night's presentation. Although I was a panelist, I received a lot of great information on how social media is really helping to level the playing field for all people. I really enjoyed you and Jigar's presentation!

    1. Thank you, Christina! It was great to see you again and have your support! Keep going on that LinkedIn profile!!

  2. Beautiful Rachel. One of the women at the Positive Attitude Workshop was deaf, and I am going to work on a Reiki Presentation for a group she is involved in with other hearing impaired adults.
    I have also presented to a group of blind and visually impaired folks. They loved it, and their guide dogs loved receiving Reiki!

    1. Thank you, Rickie.

      It's amazing what we can do when we're determined! Bless you for supporting those with disabilities. xoxo

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