While there are exceptions, too often, young adults with disabilities are completely unprepared to disclose their disability, or tell others how it affects them and have extreme difficulty finding work. Correcting this imbalance starts with building a support network. It starts with finding the student or their parents a mentor(s) to help them through the ups and downs of life with a disability
This is where social media comes in. Growing up, I was one of the very few people with cerebral palsy in my county, never mind in the small town where I grew up. Growing up today, my location wouldn’t matter because social media allows individuals to talk to anyone at any time. So, whether you’re a single dad in Melbourne trying to help your son who has ADD or a 17 year-old with cp in Charleston, you can find individuals and organizations professional with disabilities the world over who have been there and done that. Yes, email is great, but there is nothing better than having someone see you and hear you, and since 90 percent of communication is non-verbal, seeing someone’s facial expressions is key when having serious discussions. Such connections are critical since youth with disabilities are often victims of bullying and other forms of abuse. Skype has the potential to change all that. Perhaps it already has? I’m betting the answer is yes.