skip to content »

crowd

Houston, Texas

People discussing health of women with disabilities
CROWD
not shown on screen

Self-esteem in Second Life project

Using 3-D Virtual Worlds to Help Women with Disabilities Enhance their Self-Esteem

Story available. http://www.bcm.edu/news/item.cfm?newsID=1375

Description of the workshop

This seven session psycho-educational peer-led workshop is designed to assist women with disabilities to improve their level of self-esteem and self-efficacy, and learn new skills for establishing satisfying relationships and expanding their network of social support. Topics covered include 1) Introduction to Second Life and Skill Building, 2) Concept of Self-Esteem, 3) Connecting to Self, 4) Caring for Self, 5) Connections, 6) Communication, and 7) Planning. The curriculum, which has been adapted for delivery in the immersive virtual environment of Second Life, consists of a leader's manual, PowerPoint presentation, and exercise materials for each of the seven sessions. The design of each session includes instructional material, small group discussion guide, assignments for skill building and introspection about personal self-esteem, goal setting and action planning, group debriefing of assignments and progress on action plans, and a "bud adventure". In the bud adventure, pairs of participants are given an assignment to explore another location in Second Life and participate in an activity there. These adventures often involve interacting with other people (avatars) at that location.

The Self-Esteem in Second Life workshop is a groundbreaking and innovative program that will benefit women with disabilities in many ways. It offers instruction, advice, and support in seriously neglected aspects of living with disability for women -- low levels of self-esteem, low motivation, unsatisfactory or abusive relationships, social isolation, and secondary condition. It taps into the power of peer role modeling and peer support. It uses the state-of-the-art immersive virtual environment of Second Life to transcend barriers resulting from inaccessible environments, inhospitable weather, lack of transportation, lack of attendant care, and the debilitating effects of pain and fatigue that often prevent participation in face-to-face workshops. It offers women with disabilities a new venue for expanding their social contacts and breaking the cycle of social isolation.

Quick Start Guide to Second Life

This guide offers detailed instruction in developing the skills to access and navigate in Second Life. Topics covered include how to access Second Life, move your avatar in SL, adjust your camera view, acquire Friendship of another avatar, communicate in SL, communicate with Groups via texting and voice, set the quality of the graphics on your screen, teleport, teleport “Home”, “Search”, set and go to “Landmarks”, access your “Inventory”, change your appearance, create your “Profile”, and Learn more about Second Life.

As interest in immersive virtual environments grows, information is needed on how to navigate in these environments that is tailored to the specific needs of people with disabilities. Although a few introductions to Second Life are available online, this Quick Start Guide offers details and problem solving advice that is not otherwise available. Our research to date has shown that time spent in offering a thorough orientation to this new medium has a substantial payoff in reducing the number of technical difficulties that are encountered once the small group workshops begin. By eliminating these difficulties this self-paced guide helps enhance participants' enjoyment of interacting with others in this virtual world.

Quick Start Guide to Second Life (downloadable PDF file)

Workshop materials:

Session 1: Introduction to Second Life and Skill Building
Exercises
Slides

Session 2: Self-Esteem Concepts
Exercises
Slides

Session 3: Connecting to Self
Exercises
Slides

Session 4: Caring for Self
Exercises
Slides

Session 5: Connections
Exercises
Slides

Session 6: Communication
Exercises
Slides

Session 7: Planning
Exercises
Slides

E-mail this page to a friend