Creating a Community of People with Paralysis
- Country of Implementation
- United States of America
- North America
- Start Year
- First published
“I have been having a hard time accepting his limitations. To know there is such a community that understands your frustrations is encouraging.” Mother of a beneficiary
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 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.