Confidence in my ability
My name is Ladyslipper Constantine and I often go by “LS.” I’ve been a member of our Virtual Ability community for seven years. I’m from the United States, am deaf, and can hear with a cochlear implant. Hearing doesn’t always mean I understand what’s being voiced, though. Being part of Virtual Ability in Second Life has really strengthened my confidence in my own ability to do different things. This is something that my inability to hear had challenged, and Virtual Ability has helped me to grow beyond that.
Virtual Ability is a caring community. We have a strong sense of “we.”
We reach out to those in need, whether or not they have a disability. We welcome new people to our activities. We have mentors available. We have beautiful and very affordable “residential” properties where people can create a Second Life home while being part of a community.
I, myself, am very active in many diverse ways!
I am VAI’s lead greeter and I love welcoming new members to our group and answering their questions. I’m also their lead mentor, and enjoy that as well. I help plan our rez day parties and other parties. I feel I’m someone in VAI that people can call upon when they need a question answered.
Being part of Virtual Ability is an important part of my time in Second Life. I enjoy Virtual Ability’s socials and dances, various types of presentations, discussions, field trips and getting to know so many wonderful people. I am busy in Second Life beyond Virtual Ability, too. I enjoy dancing, playing greedy, horseback riding, sailing and working events such as Second Life Birthday, Virtual World’s Best Practice in Education and being a Ranger in Burn2. I am also a drummer in a group called DRUM. In the physical world, I love the computer, but I also enjoy going to my grandkids’ school events, soccer and baseball games.
Over the many years I have been part to Virtual Ability, I’ve seen what a difference it can make. For those of us with a disability, being part of VAI enables us to do things we can no longer do in our physical lives. For those who deal with isolation, being part of the Virtual Ability community helps with connecting and friendships, even if one cannot leave home. Moreover, getting to know people with disabilities within the virtual world of Second Life makes a big difference as well. As people without disabilities interact with us in Second Life, attitudes change and minds open. There’s two-way learning and growing. And, soon, interacting with a person with a disability, whether in Second Life or in the physical world, becomes normal. That’s a very real, very significant societal impact!