Archive for the ‘fundraising’ Category


For a two and a half years myself and some friends have been fundraising for a 3 year old friend called Sam who was severely disabled after a car crash. So far, with the £21,o000 raised, we’ve been able to buy him a specially adapted wheelchair so he can get out and about, an FES exercise bike to help him develop his muscles and immunity, and arm extensions so he can take part in the art classes he loves at playgroup.

My journey into Second Life has been inspired by Sam. While I was initially looking to fundraise and raise awareness , I then started to explore it’s technical accessibility and how it works with access technologies. During my travels I’ve met and gathered stories from residents in Second Life,  people otherwise restricted in real life, who have found a whole new channel for expressing themselves. What has impressed me is the level of independence people have felt that goes beyond what an adapted wheelchair or arm extensions can do; if you’re able to access virtual worlds you can independently meet and make friends, go to concerts, nightclubs, classes and generally hang out. What has been most revealing of all however is how those of us who are able bodied can find it more comfortable to meet, communicate and talk frankly to people who are disabled through the protective layer of virtual reality. A level playing field in more ways than one.

I’ve started a Stuff4Sam group in Second Life to help raise awareness and hopefully raise funds for Sam. We’re also looking at how we can make Second Life more accessible to people with disabilities. It’s an open group and I would love for you to come and join us, spread the world and look into technical solutions for making Second Life accessible. Just search for “stuff4sam” in the Groups section of the Search and we’ll pop up – the more the better!

Sam with his new arm extensions


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I’ve been hanging out in the virtual world Second Life a lot recently wrapping my head around all the amazing things you can do there. Something that’s really struck me however is how this could be a real opportunity for people who are restricted in some way in their day to day lives.

Working as a Web Accessibility Consultant this is hardly surprising but what really got me excited was thinking of the opportunities that it could give a friend of mine, Sam, who was paralysed in a car accident a couple of years ago. Imagine if he could hang out in Second Life, meet people, go to concerts, take courses, fly, earn his own money, even play football with his Dad.

Judy Brewer from the Web Accessibility Initiative gives a talk in Second Life

It’s also got me thinking about how I can expand my fundraising activities for Sam by setting up a group in there where I can raise awareness as well has money to help buy him equipment to make his quality of life better (the group will be stuff4sam, but I haven’t made enough Linden Dollars to set it up yet…watch this space)!

I am currently researching how Second Life fairs in terms of accessibility from the perspective of all users including people with mobility, visual, hearing and cognitive impairments but I need your help. Rather than just put on my auditors hat I’d like to also hear what your experiences are with Second Life including the good as well as the bad, what do you find troublesome, what features do you like most and if you use an access technology or change your browser settings

If you’d like to share you thoughts with me then leave a comment here or drop me an email at accesssecondlife@gmail.com.

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Henny and her mutley crewThe magic number of 8k has been hit, tipped over the balance by 80 quid from the office swear box! So it’s goodbye to swearing on tick, 4 for a pound and a string of expletives for your lunch money. What a relief (it’s not all good though as the swear box has been a very understanding source of loans in the run up to pay day for swift half’s, yoga classes and chocolate fixes).

So that’s it for the fundraising (unless anyone wants so sponsor me lying on a beach or something….), thank you all very much.

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285 strips later (I know it’s been a busy week, especially in this weather, but it’s all part of the training), £500 has been raised from the raffle and £500 from the unwanted Christmas present sale. This has tipped the balance of money raised to a whopping total of £6,817!

Right, that’s it, I’m off to pack my thermals. Thankfully I’m not flying Ryan Air as I’m taking a lot of them.

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we’re getting there

A million thanks to everybody who’s sponsored me dog sledding. Thanks to the contributions from people both online and offline plus a crack team of fundraisers the target has been overshot by 2k. So I’ve upped it to 6k. Cheeky I know but worth it.

I had an email today confirming that an order has been placed for a customised wheelchair for Sam that will accommodate all his equipment including his portable life support machine. 3k well spent as this means he can go outside and also makes it easier for him to go home once a week.

So don’t stop, still 1k to go! For information on how to donate online or offline visit Just Giving. Thank you!

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