Virtual Ability: mental health awareness in Second Life 2021

Virtual Ability Island

The Virtual Ability community in Second Life is hosting its tenth annual Mental Health Symposium on Friday, April 16th, 2021. The theme for this years even is Mental Health in Trying Times, focusing on mental health in the age of the pandemic.

The symposium will once again feature an international group of presenters offering a wide interpretation of the theme, based on their interests and academic backgrounds.

Virtual Ability Inc  (VAI) and the Virtual Ability community hosts this annual Symposium to share information about mental health and mental disabilities with the general population. Within this cross-disability community are people who deal with a variety of mental health issues. So, not only is this an opportunity for community members to learn more about topics related to mental health from experts they probably would not have an opportunity to otherwise meet, it also  allows the general public to attend a professional conference for free.

Sojourner Auditorium

The schedule is as follows (all times SLT):

  • 07:00-08:00: Clara González Sanguino, Complutense University of Madrid (Spain) – the impact of Covid-19 on our mental health. A longitudinal study from the beginning of the pandemic to the return to the new normality in Spain.
  • 08:30-09:30: Laura Ritchie, University of Chichester Conservatoire, UK, and Daniel P Cervone, University of Illinois, will share their research Projects pursued and abandoned: Pandemic reactions of care & coping.
  • 10:00-11:00: Catherine Ettman, Boston University School of Medicine – the prevalence of depression symptoms in US adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 11:30-12:30:  Tom Boellstorff, University of California, Irvine, and students Evan Conaway and Sandy Wenger discuss their research on the impact of Second Life and Animal Crossing during the COVID pandemic.
  • 13:00-14:00: Ryan Schultz, Sciences and Technology Library, University of Manitoba, Canada – Acedia During the Coronavirus Pandemic: A 5th-Century Term for a 21st-Century Problem.
  • 14:30-14:30: Mark Czeisler, Monash University, Australia, Mental health, substance use, and suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic—disproportionately affected populations.

Sessions will also be available on the Virtual Ability You Tube channel.

The Symposium takes place in Virtual Ability’s Sojourner Auditorium, on Virtual Ability island and full information can be found here.

About Virtual Ability

Virtual Ability, Inc. is a non-profit corporation, chartered in the state of Colorado, USA.  We are a non-profit tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. This means that for US citizens, contributions made are deductible as a charitable donation for federal income tax purposes.

For further information on the board of directors, please visit the Virtual Ability About Us page. If you wish to keep up with Virtual Ability news and updates when on the move, you can follow them on Twitter.

With thanks to Gentle Heron for the information.

Related links

The remarkable art of Tucker Stilley in Second Life

Cape Able Art Gallery: Tucker Stilley – Palimpsessed

Commencing on Wednesday, April 7th, and running through until the end of May at the Cape Able Art Gallery is a most extraordinary exhibition of art from the physical world. Entitled Palimpsessed, it features the work of Tucker Stilley.

The exhibition is being hosted by Virtual Ability, who have worked in partnership with Tucker and his sister, filmmaker, editor, and producer Kate Stilley Steiner to bring the exhibition to Second Life, and I was invited by Gentle Heron of Virtual Ability to a preview of the exhibition ahead of the first of a series of special events that will accompany it.

Born in Santa Ana,  California in 1961, Tucker Stilley is a veteran intermedia artist and distinguished alumni of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where he was a member of the Studio for Interrelated Media. A leading member of the Boston arts community throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he has worked the MIT Media Lab, and with his partner Lindsay Mofford, in a range of environments – academia, technology , corporate, public – producing a broad range of art exhibited at the likes of the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, the Boston Film Foundation and Harvard University, as well as continuing to work with the “arts underground”.

Cape Able Art Gallery: Tucker Stilley – Palimpsessed

Now residing in Los Angeles, California, Tucker Stilley is now completely paralysed, the result of ALS/MND (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), with which he was first diagnosed in 2005. Nevertheless, he continues to create the most incredible art that is rich is substance.

He does so using his one means of communications, a hybrid computer he controls with his eyes and which allows him to essentially “live” within the world wide wide, remaining in contact with friends, colleagues and artistic collaborators, seeking inspiration and engaging in research.

Through this computer, and most recently using ophisticated generative software, Stilley literally pains with his eyes. The pieces he creates bring together a host of genres and styles – abstraction, post-modernism, conceptualism, touches of surrealism, collage, etching, and perhaps in places a hint of fauvism – in the most remarkable and fascinating of ways, all of which is demonstrated in the exhibition at Cape Able.  Within these pieces can be found simplicity and complexity of expression, hints of irony or whimsy.

Cape Able Art Gallery: Tucker Stilley – Palimpsessed

Palimpsessed can be further enjoyed every Wednesday through April and May 2021, when Cape Able Gallery will be hosting guided tours between 17:00and 19:00 SLT.

This is a genuinely extraordinary exhibition that is compact enough so as not to overwhelm, but rich enough to provide a look into the life and creativity of a most amazing artist and visionary.

SLurl Details

Previewing Virtual Ability’s 2020 IDRAC conference in Second Life

via Virtual Ability

Virtual Ability Inc., will be hosting its 9th annual International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference (IDRAC) on Saturday, October 10th, 2020.

IDRAC is a professional conference held in-world in Second Life that is open to professionals and the public alike. It is held at the Sojourner Auditorium on Virtual Ability Island.

As 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act, this year’s conference will have a particular focus on Disability Right, both in the United States and globally, under the theme Where have we been? Where are we headed? How should we get there?

The conference will again feature an international line-up of guest speakers, and for those who cannot make the in-world venue, it will be live streamed via the Virtual Ability You Tube channel. Individual sessions will last between 30 and 90 minutes, and may include opportunities for Q&A.

via Virtual Ability

Schedule of Sessions.

The following is a summary of the conference and speakers / subjects. For more detailed information, including biographies on the participating speakers, please visit Virtual Ability’s IDRAC 2020 conference page, which will also include any updates to the schedule that may occur between now and the conference.

Note all times below are SLT and apply to Saturday, October 10th, 2020.

07:00 Manohar Swaminathan (Microsoft Research India) – Ludic Design for Accessibility
08:30 Amelia Fiske (Technical University of Munich) – Exploring Ethical and Social Implications of Embodied AI
09:15 Margaret Nosek (Baylor College of Medicine) – Memories of 1996, the White House signing of the Americans with Disability Act
10:00 Barry Whaley (Southeast ADA Center) – Who are the Heroes? A History of the Disability Rights Movement
11:30 David Larson (Hamline School of Law, Dispute Resolution Institute) – TBA
13:00 Krista Watson (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) – Employment and the ADA
14:30 Rhoda Olkin (Alliant International University) – Women with Disabilities: Experiences of Microaggressions
The Sojourner Auditorium
The Sojourner Auditorium, virtual Ability Island

Be sure to save the date in your calendar / diary.

Related Links

Mental health awareness in Second Life 2019

Virtual Ability Island

The Virtual Ability community in Second Life is hosting its eighth annual Mental Health Symposium on Friday, April 26, 2019. The theme for this years even is Mental Health in the 21st Century: Digital Destruction or Support? It features an international group of presenters will offer a wide interpretation of the theme, based on their interests and academic backgrounds.

Virtual Ability Inc  (VAI) and the Virtual Ability community hosts this annual Symposium to share information about mental health and mental disabilities with the general population. Within this cross-disability community are people who deal with a variety of mental health issues. So, not only is this an opportunity for community members to learn more about topics related to mental health from experts they probably would not have an opportunity to otherwise meet, it also  allows the general public to attend a professional conference for free.

Sojourner Auditorium

The schedule is as follows (all times SLT):

  • 08:30-09:30: Evelyn McElhinney is a Senior Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University (Scotland) –  The importance of positive health assets from participation in 3D social virtual world communities to living and coping with long term conditions in the physical world.
  • 10:00-10:30: Antonius (Tony) J. van Rooij is Project Leader for Gaming, Gambling and Media Literacy at the Trimbos Instituut, the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction, Utrecht – Gaming, problem gaming, and gaming addiction in the Netherlands: An introduction.
  • 10:45-11:45: Panel discussion – Life in a Digital Environment – with Michelle Colder Carras, Antonius (Tony) J. van Rooij, Nicholas (Nick) Bowman.
  • Noon-12:45: Nicholas Bowman is an associate professor at the Interaction Lab of the Department of Communication Studies, West Virginia University, US – How do I relate to me? The emotional demands of our online personae.
  • 13:00-13:45: Michelle Colder Carras a public mental health researcher and informaticist – Video games, social interactions, and mental health: benefits and problems.
  • 14:00-15:30: Kevin Holloway is the Director of Training and Education at the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda – Virtual World Training for Mental Health Providers.
  • 16:00-17:00: Fatemeh Rezaee is a Ph.D candidate at Seoul National University – Designed Addiction.
  • 17:00-17:45: casual mixer – an opportunity to chat about the symposium.

The Symposium takes place in Virtual Ability’s Sojourner Auditorium, on Virtual Ability island.

About Virtual Ability

Virtual Ability, Inc. is a non-profit corporation, chartered in the state of Colorado, USA.  We are a non-profit tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. This means that for US citizens, contributions made are deductible as a charitable donation for federal income tax purposes.

For further information on the board of directors, please visit the Virtual Ability About Us page.

For those wishing to keep up with Virtual Ability news and updates when on the move, you can follow them on Twitter.

Related links

Virtual Ability: IDRAC 2018 in Second Life

via Virtual Ability

Currently underway in Second Life through October 5th and 6th, 2018 is the International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference (IDRAC), organised and hoted by Virtual Ability Inc. The theme for its years conference is Taking Care of Us, which the organisers note is very open to interpretation, offering the guest speakers opportunity to talk on a range of subjects related to disability rights and care.

The conference is taking place at the Sojourner Auditorium on Virtual Ability Island, and will feature presentations from Hong Kong, the UK, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Mauritius, Canada, and the United States. Presentation will be of around 90 minutes duration, including time for discussion and breaks between.

Schedule of Sessions

The conference schedule, as it stood at the time of writing, was as follows. Please visit the conference page on the virtual Ability website for any updates and to read the biographies of the individual presenters. All times are SLT.

Friday, October 5th, 2018

07:00 Lusha Huang (Hong Kong): Enhancing Visually Impaired People’s Travelling Experience through Mobile Applications
08:30 Coomara Pyaneandee (Mauritius): The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
10:00 Debbie Engelen-Eigles (USA): Learning from Korean Women with Disabilities: Lessons from the Field
11:30 Jason DaSilva (USA): Documenting Disability & Looking Towards the Future
13:00 Lauren Bruno and Cassandra Willis (USA): A Survey of Alternative and Traditional Special Education Teachers’ Perception of Preparedness
14:30 Panel discussion of care giving issues with caregivers and care recipients
The Sojourner Auditorium
The Sojourner Auditorium, virtual Ability Island

Saturday, October 6th, 2018

08:00 Patrick McKearney (UK): Care and Visibility: Modes of Agency in L’Arche
09:30
Reginald Nii Odoi (Ghana): We Are The World: Making It a Better Place
11:00
Peter Catapano,  Editor of the Opinion Section of the New York Times (USA): Interview
12:30 Rev. Olutayo Shodipo (Nigeria):
14:00 Amra Mohammed (Saudi Arabia): Creating Policies to Support Twice-Exceptional Students in Saudi Arabia
15:30 Panel discussion of care giving issues with caregivers and care recipients

Related Links

Mental health awareness in Second Life

Virtual Ability Island

The Virtual Ability community in Second Life is hosting its sixth annual Mental Health Symposium on Saturday, May 27th, 2017, commencing at 06:00 SLT.

Virtual Ability Inc  (VAI) and the Virtual Ability community hosts this annual Symposium to share information about mental health and mental disabilities with the general population. Within this cross-disability community are people who deal with a variety of mental health issues. So, not only is this an opportunity for community members to learn more about topics related to mental health from experts they probably would not have an opportunity to otherwise meet, it also  allows the general public to attend a professional conference for free.

The theme of this year’s event is I can relate to that. It features an international presenters offering a wide interpretation of the theme, based on their interests and academic backgrounds. Attendees will learn ways to promote mental health for themselves and their families, how diet affects mental health, and how first responders and medical clinicians can improve their own mental health.

Sojourner Auditorium

The schedule is as follows (all times SLT):

  • 06:00: Tracy Burrows –  Diet, Nutrition and Food Addiction.
  • 07:30: Sarah Henderson and Kristin Klimley – First Responder Mental Health: The Importance of Training and Intervention.
  • 09:00: Joel Edman – Nutritional and Holistic Approaches to Stomach and Intestinal Disorders: Practical guidelines that can also be helpful for chronic and/or complex health issues.
  • 10:30: A selection of tours of sites related to mental health in Second Life – see below for more.
  • 12:00 noon: Ian Colman – Mental health promotion: What can you do for you and your loved ones?.
  • 13:30: Karen Davison  – Bridging the Divide: Exploring research in nutrition, mental health and food security.
  • 15:00: Diana Anderson – Virtual Windows: Design solutions to improve the mental health of clinical staff.
  • 16:30: Namaara MacMoragh  – Mental Health Following Brain Injury.

The Symposium takes place in Virtual Ability’s Sojourner Auditorium, on Virtual Ability island.

Mental Health Awareness exhibits, HealthInfo Island

May has traditionally been designated as Mental Health Awareness Month; so in addition to the symposium, and as noted above, the Virtual Ability community has a series of exhibits and displays related to mental health on its Healthinfo Island. Open to the public, these comprise:

When visiting an exhibit, click the title poster or display to get a full text note card; click each poster for live links and text chat. Other exhibits and displays on Healthinfo Island during May include:

About Virtual Ability

Virtual Ability, Inc. is a non-profit corporation, chartered in the state of Colorado, USA.  We are a non-profit tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. This means that for US citizens, contributions made are deductible as a charitable donation for federal income tax purposes.

For further information on the board of directors, please visit the Virtual Ability About Us page.

For those wishing to keep up with Virtual Ability news and updates when on the move, you can follow them on Twitter.

Related links