Monday, June 22, 2009

Helen Keller day sculpture

I was asked to make a sculpture for Helen Keller day in second life and was given a nice permanent plot of land at Pomponio Volcano by Pathfinder Linden. The challenge was to make a sculpture that can be enjoyed by both blind and deaf people. I did my best and while it doesn't fully succeed its still fairly entertaining I hope. Please come if you can, its on Saturday all day.








Below is the official press release which does a better job explaining it then I can.



What if there were interesting places that everyone could go to, interesting activities that everyone could participate in . . . everyone but you? How would you feel?

People with disabilities find interesting ways to do things to overcome obstacles just getting through every day. You may not be aware of it, but if you’re active in Second Life (SL), chances are you interact with someone with a disability:

People with disabilities make up approximately 20 percent of the SL population. For many people with disabilities, SL is about as “barrier-free” an environment as it gets - People who cannot walk in real life can fly and teleport here in SL. Some, however, are not as fortunate: Deaf and hearing impaired people can be unwittingly excluded from voice chats, and people who are blind or visually impaired still face massive challenges in being able to use the highly visual 3D environment at all – Which is why Helen Keller Day is coming to Second Life, Saturday, June 27th. It’s a day that is set aside for 24 solid hours of information, education, exploration of employment opportunities, arts and entertainment, and social engagement, at the four The Ye, Olde, Supporte, Faire islands. There will be vendors, employers, presentations, and mainly… fun.

Throughout all that, Helen Keller Day is about consciousness raising. It’s a movement in the 60s tradition, in a sense - It’s about raising our level of awareness for our brothers and sisters who have disabilities. It’s about learning that everyone can participate, and it’s about becoming knowledgeable about how to do a small but important kindness by being sensitive, and knowing how to include everyone in activities and interactions.
At some time in our lives, we’ve all felt what it feels like not to be able to participate… not to be included. Knowing how to include someone with a disability, and make everyone feel welcome, is an important social skill, and sometimes can be just that small but significant kindness that we can all benefit from.

So we’re reaching out and asking you all to join us. Participants will meet make new friends, learn things, and be entertained for their efforts. And, just maybe, you’ll be fortunate to learn to “see” in a spiritual sense, as a blind person "sees" or hear what a deaf person “hears” with all existing senses.

You’ll hear great speakers, including Helen Keller’s great grandniece, Keller Johnson Thompson, and Linden Labs Education and Healthcare Developer, Pathfinder Linden. There will be panels on virtual education programs, accessible virtual teaching, and employment in virtual worlds, information about online degrees in digital media... even a goldmine!

You’ll get freebies and learn about amazing innovations like Max, the VHH Virtual Guide Dog, who was developed IN Second Life, BY Second Life participants, to help make SL accessible to people who are blind and visually impaired. You’ll see building contests featuring skilled builders doing accessible builds before your eyes. You’ll experience things to spark your imagination and “see” and "hear" the world in new and thought-provoking ways.

This is a day to meet people, make contacts, learn, and share the experience of taking the first steps into a bigger, kinder, more inclusive world.

Please come and share this experience with us. We’ll all be there – we hope that you will be, too.

Press Release
PRESS RELEASE: Hellen Keller Day in Second Life
Contact person: Saxet Uralia

The 24-hour event PDT will be held all day Saturday, June 27 at the four The Ye, Olde, Supporte, Faire sims. ((http://slurl.com/secondlife/Faire/20/222/38)

Linden Lab is collaborating with and assisting Virtual Helping Hands and a coalition of community volunteers who are proud to announce Helen Keller Day in Second Life. Helen Keller Day is a community-event exploring how and why to employ, educate, entertain, and engage everyone through virtual worlds.

Helen Keller Day is a day that is set aside for information acquisition, education, exploration of employment opportunities, social engagement, and enjoyment of arts and entertainment… There will be vendors, employers, presentations, and pure, unbridled fun.

It’s a day dedicated to raising our level of awareness for our fellow Second Life residents who cope with disabilities. At some time in our lives, we’ve all felt what it feels like not to be able to participate… not to be included. Knowing how to include someone with a disability, and make them feel welcome, is an important social skill, and a small but significant kindness that we can all benefit from and feel good about.

Participants will meet people learn things, get freebies, and be entertained for their efforts.

You will hear keynote speakers Keller Johnson Thompson, the great grandniece of Helen herself and Linden Labs Education and Healthcare Developer, John Lester, aka Pathfinder Linden. You will hear from experts in the fields of virtual education, employment, social engagement and entertainment. There will be building contests featuring skilled builders doing accessible builds before our virtual eyes. There will be a world premier “movie” featuring “Max,” the virtual guide dog developed in Second Life for SL users who are blind or sight impaired. Also featured will be an exhibition of Max's abilities, a fashion show, chess, a Braille chat display, dancing, singing quests and storytelling... even a virtual goldmine!

There will be experiences designed to spark the imagination and “see” and “hear” the world with all the senses in new and thought provoking ways. Join the pioneers in virtual worlds who are inspired by the spirit of Helen Keller to explore ways in which everyone can participate…and create a world that richer for all.

Please come and learn, connect, explore, be entertained, and pick up freebies while sharing this positive and uplifting experience with us.
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