Virtual Ability has become my virtual home
I’m Amy Waverider, and I have been a member of Virtual Ability for a little over seven years. Soon after I arrived in Second Life, I met Gentle Heron and she introduced me to The Heron Sanctuary, which is what our first location was called. I remember her saying, “Now you can set your home to here.” I did, but I did not realize at that time just how very important this “home” would become for me. Virtual Ability has been my virtual home ever since.
Truly, VAI is my “home away from home.” It is a place where I can go to be with friends, some with, and some without disabilities. I consider them my virtual family. They have a place in my real life heart as well.
At first I never thought that a virtual community like VAI would make a difference in my life. But, I was wrong. Over time, after meeting many wonderful people and developing friendships, learning new things and becoming part of the community, so much of what I have experienced here has become integrated into my real life. There have been many times when something I’ve learned or something that’s occurred in Second Life has impacted my life beyond the virtual world in a significant way.
I would have to say the biggest thing is the feeling of a place to belong, a place to go to, and a place to call home. This really helps with the feeling of isolation that’s so common when you can’t physically get out into the community as you would like to. For me, and for many, Virtual Ability offers a community and a supportive environment when we have none in our real lives.
I enjoy my time in Second Life, and at Virtual Ability, so much. I enjoy all the educational events, parties, dances, and music. I have a virtual apartment on Virtual Ability’s new Cape Heron island. I do photography inworld (I am also an amatuer photographer in real life), and I enjoy exploring, building, going on hunts, and going to clubs and events across Second Life. I love doing new things, and my involvement in VAI helps me to do that, with plenty of opportunities to learn and socialize. I also have contributed to our community by helping others and supporting new people. That’s an important part of community, too- giving back.