Innovative Practice 2019 on Independent Living and Political Participation

Creating a Community of People with Paralysis

AbleThrive, a U.S. non-profit organization, has created a website for people with paralysis and their families that delivers information on life skills, relationships, parenting, activities and travel. Users easily filter and find articles, videos and products customized to their needs and interests. Additionally, the organization host events and campaigns to foster its community and promote inclusion in society. From 2015 to 2018, AbleThrive has built a network of more than 240 partner organizations worldwide called AbleThrive allies to foster collaboration in the sector.

“I have been having a hard time accepting his limitations. To know there is such a resource find a community who understands your frustrations is encouraging.”

Mother of a beneficiary
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:A website for people with paralysis and their families
Organisation:AbleThrive
Country
of Implementation
USA

FACTS & FIGURES

  • AbleThrive website receives some 10,000 unique visitors each month and to date it has had more than 2.5 million video views and 12,000 shares across social media.
  • AbleThrive.com is currently used in 16 hospitals in four countries specializing in spinal cord injuries.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Persons with paralysis struggle to find the information they need to adapt their daily lives. Without proper support, they are at risk of secondary health conditions.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

AbleThrive Homepage

AbleThrive runs a webpage that categorizes and delivers a wide variety of information from the Internet that helps people with paralysis or other mobility disabilities (spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, MS, post-polio, etc.) worldwide. The team gathers, writes, and links to articles and videos from a network of more than 240 partner organizations and companies. By signing up to an account, people with disabilities are provided with information on topics such as sports, travel, relationships, care giving, and parenting, as well as such fundamentals skills as living with emotional problems, getting your life back in order when you are first touched by a disability, and learning basic skills. To mobilize and change mind-sets, the organization regularly arranges digital, in-person, and global campaigns.

The information provided by AbleThrive is currently used in 16 spinal cord injury rehabilitation hospitals in the United States, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. The organization’s website has over 10,000 unique views per month, and to date it has had more than 2.5 million video views and 12,000 shares across social media.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

AbleThrive is funded through donations, corporate sponsorship and affiliate marketing from products featured on AbleThrive..

The project has already expanded in the United States, to Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. AbleThrive plans to expand it further by translating the content into other languages and subsequently replicating the model for other types of disabilities.

In order to enter foreign markets and to grow its partner network, the organization is building relationships with local disability communities. The content curated on the website covers universal information thus the model allows replication without contextualisation to other countries’ settings. To become a partner, organizations must be aligned with AbleThrive’s mission to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families. By contributing content to the AbleThrive network, partners open the door for collaborations and supporting each other’s work. The membership is free of charge for both, users and partners.

Ablethrive user surfing the website.

FACTSHEET

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