Combating digital exclusion

Are you familiar with h@bileNET?

It is the first French-language virtual community for people with intellectual disabilities, developed by Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières psychoeducation professor Dany Lussier-Desrochers, in collaboration with the Centre de Réadaptation en Déficience Intellectuelle (CRDI) Chaudières–Appalache. Many people with intellectual disabilities have difficulty using the Internet.

H@bileNET meets an important need for social networking among the intellectually disabled. 

As Websites are becoming an increasingly important source of information, and people are communicating more and more through social media platforms, the inability to use these tools becomes a form of exclusion and a source of isolation. H@bileNET meets an important need for social networking among the intellectually disabled.  By means of online videos, they can interact with other users and receive advice from people whose experiences are similar to their own. This new Website also provides more direct access to certain information contained on other sites, such as public transport schedules.

Users can even play online video games! H@bileNET is cited as an example by intellectual disability specialists, because it promotes social participation among its users, which greatly improves their daily lives. The Fédération des Centres de Réadaptation en Déficience Intellectuelle is currently working on having the platform installed in several centres. 

Dany Lussier-Desrochers has published articles on the subject in the scientific journals Revue francophone de la déficience intellectuelle and Revue du Consortium national de recherche sur l'intégration sociale. He has also published an article aimed at the general public and potential users of the Website in Info-Clic TSA.