To help more people with disabilities join the social networking world, the 2nd edition of Tweet Meet brings 40 netbooks to people with disabilities
This year’s Tweet Meet, a civic movement aimed at encouraging members of the public to help narrow the digital divide for people with disabilities (PWDs), will see more than 10 volunteers visiting the homes of 40 PWDs to personally deliver, set-up and connect them onto social networking sites Twitter, Facebook, Windows Live and Skype so the recipients can plug into social media and widen their social circle.
This year’s Tweet Meet will be held completely online, where members of the Singapore public are encouraged to join this civic movement via Twitter at #Nothing_Less and on Facebook at Infocomm Accessibility Centre to help empower PWDs through the power of technology.
The IAC offers IT training for people across disability types, including physical, intellectual, visual and hearing-related impairments, and works with 23 voluntary welfare organisations to provide IT training for their clients. The centre, managed by the Society for the Physically Disabled, provides basic-level courses on computer fundamentals up to intermediate-level training to prepare PWDs for employment. As of 1 July 2011, more than 4,000 training places comprising IT training sessions, apprenticeship training sessions and assistive technology training sessions have been offered to more than 1,000 trainees. Currently, 26 of these trainees who have completed the apprenticeship programme successfully secured employment. The Tweet Meet aims to drum up greater awareness of the IAC and encourage more PWDs to take up IT training. To inject more interest, the IAC is expanding its reach this year to benefit 40 recipients with netbooks donated by Microsoft Singapore.
These 40 netbooks will give a new lease of life to the recipients with disabilities, as the highly portable sets will not only help connect them onto the Internet, it will also give them an opportunity to meet new friends and learn new things. Some of Microsoft’s staff willbe joining the volunteer expedition to deliver the netbooks and help connect the recipients to the social networking media sites.
The inaugural Tweet Meet held in 2010 had a similar component where volunteers from Singapore Polytechnic visited the homes of 12 PWDs to set up webcams and microphones on their home computers and helped to connect the recipients via Twitter, Facebook and Skype. To ensure their continued learning, volunteers for this year’s expedition will befriend the PWDs on their own Facebook and Twitter accounts and continue communicating with the recipient for a month after the initial connection.
While last year’s Tweet Meet attracted the attention of more than 200 people who joined the online movement on Twitter and Facebook, IAC hopes more people will join the cause this year. You can be a part of the Tweet Meet community by clicking on the Facebook and Twitter icons on the IAC Homepage at http://www.iacentre.org.sg. Follow and participate in conversations on IAC’s Facebook wall and discussions.
Videos of the volunteer expedition to the homes of 40 PWDs will also be shared on the IAC website from 26 July onwards.