Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Visit Virtual Ability’s SL18B Display

By Gentle Heron

It’s difficult to believe that Second Life is celebrating its 18th birthday from June 17 to July 6. There always seems to be something new to enjoy. Head on over to the SL Birthday celebration for music, shopping, freebies, and exhibits. It's open 24 hours a day, and may be less crowded (laggy!) during US night hours. Here is the schedule of all the events.

https://go.secondlife.com/sl18b

SL groups and individuals have an opportunity to create displays during the Birthday celebration. The theme for the displays this year is is “Hidden.” Virtual Ability’s interactive display is about "Hidden Disabilities." Eme did a fantastic job educating the general public about several types of disabilities that may not be obvious if you don't know the person. Check it out, and be sure to click the entrance poster for a set of informative notecards.

Here is the SLURL to Virtual Ability’s exhibit:

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Captivate/203/153/23

Have fun visiting all the events and displays and sales and freebies that make up a SL Birthday celebration.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

“Mind the Brain” podcasts

Your mind includes your thoughts, emotions, and cognitive processes. Your mind is produced by the brain, an organ inside your body.

The University of Colorado Anschutz Department of Psychiatry has created a series of podcasts called the “Mind the Brain” series. These include interviews with experts about personal mental health topics such as:

  • Resilience
  • Managing uncertainty
  • Assessment and care of psychosis
  • Food and body image

Important social topics are covered as well:

  • Racism and discrimination in mental health care
  • Mental health challenges of refugees
  • COVID19 as a threat to mental health

Find the podcasts here: https://soundcloud.com/anschutz-dept-psychiatry/.


Healthinfo Island Displays and Exhibits for June 2021

You can teleport to any of the eight displays and exhibits using the links in this blog entry.  Also, clicking each of the pictures will end you to the appropriate place in Second Life. Click on the poster in Second Life with the same name as the title of the poster set, and you will get a notecard that contains all the text of the posters plus descriptions of the images. 

If you click each poster in Second Life, you will get a message with additional information and live links.

Central Pavilion of Healthinfo Island
Check out the calming breathing exercise on the back wall!
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Healthinfo%20Island/128/126/24

Rebuild Your Life Month
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Healthinfo%20Island/111/81/24


Retinopathy of Prematurity
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Healthinfo%20Island/21/62/32


Scleroderma Awareness Month
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Healthinfo%20Island/99/37/26


June is Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Healthinfo%20Island/51/27/28


June Aphasia Awareness Month
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Healthinfo%20Island/25/24/30


Swollen Fingers
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Healthinfo%20Island/196/156/23


Hypoglycemia
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Healthinfo%20Island/187/181/24


Are you eating too much sugar?
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Healthinfo%20Island/172/154/22



Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Most Common Questions Asked by Blind People About Second Life Access: Answered By CeleneHighwater


Hi all! By now you probably know I am the ballgown-loving, fin-flipping mermaid who lives at Virtual Ability. And yes, I know ballgowns aren't exactly compatible with a tailfin, but hey, it's SL! I can transform easily.

What some of you might not know is that I am a blind Second Life user. I use a viewer called Radegast. You can find it here:

http://radegast.life

I have decided to write this post to answer some frequently asked questions about life in Second Life and Radegast viewer use.

Q - I have never heard of Radegast. What is it?

A - Radegast is a text-based viewer for use in virtual worlds. It does have limited 3D view capabilities but these were never fully developed. What has been developed, however, is its accessibility and ease-of-use for those of us who are blind.

Q - Do I need money in Second Life?

A - No. No money is needed in the virtual world. However, you can transfer real life currency into Linden dollars if you so choose. And once acclimated with Radegast and in world life, you can work a job if you want or do something for fun to earn a little extra like trivia, fishing, or themed contests.

Q - What is possible in Second Life?

A - Second Life is a world with endless possibilities. If you can dream it, you can probably do it here. The environment is surprisingly accessible for those who use a screen reader and, as awareness grows among other residents and creators, so does the level of access. Virtually the only two things we can not do right now are drive and build. But, no one drives much in SL unless for sport. Teleportation is definitely the way to go here!

Q - What kinds of places can I explore?

A - There are clubs, non-profit organizations, roleplaying sims, universities and colleges offering credit courses, groups with dedicated sims, dance halls, concert venues, parks, cities, museums and even some real world replicas of well-known places (e.g., Yosemite National Park, the Pyramids of Egypt, Machu Pichu)!

Q - How do I get started?

A - If you want to join Second Life, you will want to register on Virtual Ability's website for a Second Life account. The reason for this is because when you log in with Radegast, you will be on Virtual Ability's orientation island where, if you've scheduled an appointment with us, we can be waiting to help you gain your inworld feet.

It is not necessary for you to schedule an appointment with us, but we do encourage it, just because Second Life is such a huge place and it can be overwhelming at first. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get started.

After you register at virtualability.org, visit

http://radegast.life

and download the latest version of Radegast. Note that there is a how-to tutorial for Radegast on the site. We strongly encourage you to reference that often as you learn.

Q - Why do I have to make an appointment? Shouldn't there be someone around whenever I log online?

A - Second Life is a huge place with things going on all the time. It is a 24-7 world that never sleeps. We could be taking part in an event elsewhere, relaxing at our favorite sim, or we could be in real life with our families. We are all volunteers and can not monitor the entry point for Virtual Ability at all times. It is not possible.

Q - I know what is possible for sighted users, but what about blind people?

A - While we can not build currently in the virtual world, we can do most everything else. We can shop, manage our own wardrobe, interact at events, dance, etc. My favorite activity is fishing; I am hopelessly addicted to it, but that is just my preference. Everyone will find their own place in this world. It's the way Second Life is designed. And because Second Life is an ever-evolving platform and Radegast an open source viewer, anything is possible!


I hope these questions and answers have helped you somewhat as you decide whether or not to join us in the world of Second Life. If you do decide to come in, we will be happy to help you as much as we can. We were all new residents once and we remember what it is like!