Today we have some exciting news to share.
We are launching the My Disability Matters (MDM) Club, a new social networking platform for the disability community.
Why have we created the My Disability Matters (MDM) Club and what can it offer you?
Living with disability can be lonely and very challenging, and for that reason we always intended to add a discussion forum to MDM.
Over the past few months this idea has evolved to become something much more. We want the Club to become a great space for sharing and peer support for people in the disability community.
Feeling lonely and want to make new friends? Come join the MDM Club for free. Our Club members include people with autism, depression, anxiety, mental illness, blindness, deafness and many other disabilities.
You can think of the MDM Club as a modified version of Facebook for people living with disability, along with their friends, family members, carers, supporters and associated business and service providers.
The MDM Club is for you if:
- You are you a person living with disability
- You are a family member or carer of someone with disability
- You work in the disability services sector
It is a place for you to:
- Meet – find people who understand you, nearby and on the other side of the world.
- Share – ask questions and get help when you need it, share your experiences to help others.
- Learn – hear about, discuss and learn through the experiences of others, read blog posts, forum topics and member updates.
Best of all – it’s FREE to join the MDM Club
We have built the MDM Club with accessibility at the forefront of the design. As a blind person myself (Dale) I have huge problems using Facebook as it was never designed with accessibility in mind, and accessibility is still treated as an add-on after features are launched, rather than a core, essential component of the social activity.
At the MDM Club, we are incorporating accessibility and ease of use into the system from the beginning. This doesn’t mean everything is perfect just yet, however as the site grows in popularity, we will have the ability to work with sponsors and advertisers, which will give us the needed income to employ technical engineers and programmers to improve the accessibility further and add more user-friendly and requested features.
Further, as we are just launching, we could really describe this period as beta testing and I am sure there could be a few bugs to be ironed out. So please be patient and understanding – report any and all issues or problems, suggest features or accessibility improvements in the forums and we will do our best to improve the site.
In addition to being like Facebook with groups, profile pages, activity updates etc we have added some other features to make the community better for us all:
Forums – We have created a foundation set of forums with the main topics that we think you will want to use. As we get more members you can suggest more forums. However at the beginning we don’t want more than necessary.
Non censorship of your timeline / activity stream – Unlike Facebook we have no intention of stopping you from seeing and being notified of updates from your friends or businesses that you like and follow. If you want to see their updates you will be able to. We intend to implement tools and features to let you filter / manage your own timeline rather than us deciding what you should get to see.
Blogs – Each member of the community has the option to contribute to the Members’ Blog where you can publish blog posts for both members and non-members to read and learn from. Blog posts are the only activity that is viewable by non-members.
Email facilities – Unlike Facebook we have added the ability for you to be notified of all activity via email, and to respond to activity and forum updates via email. Please be aware that due to email filtering and the rules of your personal ISP, email interaction with the site can never be perfect or guaranteed to work for every update.
The MDM Club is FREE
We have made joining the MDM Club free for personal use and intend for this to continue. To cover the costs of running the site (which will increase as membership grows) there is advertising on the site and we will also promote some affiliate products and services to you from time to time.
We plan to have a premium personal account option in the next few months with extra benefits such as special members only discount offers, and some additional site features. You will not lose any of the existing or essential features though if you choose to remain a free user, which will be entirely your choice.
We require that business users, which means anyone that wants to promote their own business products and services, link to their business website to join as a business member which does involve an annual fee. As a special launch offer we are giving all business users who link to the MDM Club and MDM News from their website an additional three months use for free as a reward.
So the final thing that remains to do is to go to the MDM Club home page and signup for the account that you require and we look forward to interacting with you in the Club.
Dale and Jo
Founders of the MDM Club
ps. there is also a special discussion group for the NDIS in Australia.
Interview with ABC Radio
Dale was interviewed by Louise Saunders on ABC Radio in Hobart about the MDM Club, and about accessibility for people with disabilities.
Special Note on Syndicating and Republishing This Blog Post
We would be delighted and give you permission to republish this post in full on your website or blog, or in a newsletter or email that you may publish provided you leave all links to the MDM Club intact.
We really appreciate you helping spread the word about this new site for all disabled people and the entire disability community.
If you republish the post somewhere else then please contact us and let us know so we can thank you on social media.