Before SXSW, I need your help (If the tech world could help special needs)

by Jen Reeves on February 12, 2012 · 7 comments

in 2011, special needs, SXSW

I’m on a quest. It’s been a long standing quest to use technology and help the special needs world. My relationship with the tech world started long before Jordan was born. But thanks to my comfort inside this space and the growing ways to communicate with you, it helped me build Born Just Right. In 2005, I had very few places to connect and learn about limb differences. My writing was an outlet for me at first, but it’s grown as a way to share and advocate beyond my family’s needs. I’m honored to be able to help share my experiences with you and help us all grow in our special needs world. From our very first meetups to our most recent Google+ Hangout meeting, I’d love to continue to find ways to connect and learn.

The longer I participate in this community, the more I discover how all parents of special needs kids have a need to connect and share. We all have similarities and have learned lessons that can help each other. Often those lessons stay within specific special needs communities. I’m hoping my panel will help expand personal connections and see what new ways we can all help each other. First, here’s the summary of my panel:

Special needs communities unite! This brainstorming session will take a look at how some people have been able to harness the power of online community to bring special needs parents together. We will look at what social tools work and don’t work when parents look for ways to get support for their special needs kids. Talk to a special needs parent and you’ll realize, this community does not come together often enough to share how we make advocating for our children work. This is not a session looking to find funding for our child’s challenges. This is a conversation where anyone with a link to any type of special need can talk about the need for community and advocacy in a culture where abilities of all types should be celebrated.

Now… here’s details about what I need from you:

Post a video response! Share your thoughts and perspective. This is a chance for you to participate even if you can’t attend our session on March 12th from 12:30-1:30 in the Lone Star room of Austin’s Omni Downtown hotel.

I’m so excited about this opportunity and I would love to see if an open discussion about special needs in an unusual setting can make a difference for us all.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon Simmons-Hodge February 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Greetings Ms. Reeves,

I plan on attending SXSW for the first time. I call myself Grandma Tech! I have to skills in coding what so ever, but I have been bless to create apps ideas that come from just looking at a category. I have created 25 app ideas. I did this all in 30days. My challenge is i dont have funding to develop them. I created one app by bootstrapping this app is helps to combat crime. It’s in the itune store now called iGotem. The reason why you personal video has gotten my attention is because i have a grandson who is 13yrs old. He has cerebral palsy and is a hemispheric he can only use one side of he body. He can not use the left side and is starting to get frustrated for many reason. When i saw this video he made me look at the list of apps ideas and I indeed had started a section for children and adults of apps that can be used for special needs. As i mentioned my biggest problem is funding. I work full time at a major airlines and would love to work for myself instead. I plan on attending you 1hour session on March the 12th. I’m not at programmer but i can brainstorm.

Sharon Simmons-Hodge February 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm
Jen Lee Reeves February 12, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Thanks so much Sharon! It’s wonderful to meet you. I look forward to talking to you at SXSW.

Jessica February 15, 2012 at 10:47 am

Hi, I work for Bobath Scotland – a charity helping children with cerebral palsy from throughout Scotland by providing specialist therapy. I was wondering if you were only looking for videos from American families or if you felt an international perspective would be helpful? Just because I was going to post a link on our Facebook for our service users but didn’t want to waste the families’ time if only Americans could leave videos :-)

Thanks for your help!
Jess

Jen Lee Reeves February 15, 2012 at 11:12 am

@Jessica – Any perspective is wonderful! Please post your thoughts.

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