Time and time again, people with a developmental disability and their families have stated that there is a need to be able to connect with each other on a regular basis. In a survey ConnectABILITY.ca conducted in 2011, 77% of respondents reported that it was fairly or very important to have opportunities to connect and network. In the same survey, 57% of respondents indicated that regular access to a networking internet site was their preferred method of networking. Respondents also told us that they want to use multiple ways of communicating.
Social media is just one of a number of tools to include in your tool box along with e-mail, the phone and in-person conversations. It is a way to allow everyone in on the conversation at the same time while ensuring that all have access to the whole conversation. It provides the opportunity to answer a question once and have it easily accessible to anyone else who has the same question. It can be the first “go to” place to look for an answer to your question and unlike an FAQ section it is dynamic with the possibility of new relevant material being added at any time by members of the community – people with a developmental disability, family members or others in their support networks. You can also have access to the new information as soon as it is posted.
Connected Families is a social media tool that has some privacy but also allows for opportunities to meet new people who have similar concerns and interests. It is built into the ConnectABILITY.ca community of people with a developmental disability and their support networks.
Connected Families is a meeting place for you to connect with others! This is a place for YOU to talk and connect about everything from the little stuff to the really big stuff, how you solved problems, found resources and found ways to make your dreams happen. You can tell your stories, share your ideas, your successes and even your frustrations. It’s a place to share your tips to help others succeed and find tips that could help you.
How to join ConnectABILITY
- Click on “Register/Login” (The green button in top right corner).
- On log in screen, go to bottom and click on “Join Now!“
- On the sign up screen, type in a username, E-mail address and choose a password
- Click “Register”
- Now login to the site with the password you just chose
Bookmark a discussions
You can have a notice sent to your email whenever there is a new posting in a topic that you are interested in. Beside the topic title on the right side you will see a star. If you click on the star it will turn yellow. You have now bookmarked the topic. Now whenever there is a new posting in this topic you will be sent an email notice. Please note that you can only bookmark once the topic has been created, so you will still need to go into Connected Families to check out any new topics before you can bookmark them and have notices sent to your email for new postings in that topic.
Send a message
Connected Families has its own messaging component that allows you to connect directly with a member. The messages do not leave the Connected Families site and do not convey any personal information (including your email address), other than your name, to the person being sent the private message.
- Click on a person’s name
- Type the message
- And click send
The recipient will receive an email letting know there is a message on Connected Families.