Jolie Mason Presentation on June 11th and Helen Keller Day June 19th

On June 11th, after our weekly Friday meeting here at the NPC, we were honored to have Jolie Mason / Jolie1 Magic with us. Jolie Mason is known as the first blind person to enter Second Life, and she gave an amazing presentation about virtual worlds, accessibility, and why Helen Keller is a dangerous hero to have.

Her presentation wowed the audience, and you can read a summary by downloading this PDF file and click here to read the chat transcript of Jolie’s presentation.

On a personal note, Helen Keller is a hero of mine as well. When I was a child, the story fascinated me. The fact that she overcame so much and stood up for her independence gave me strength, and made me love and adore humanity. I used to sometimes fantasize that Helen Keller and Marie Curie were the same person, and wondered if Helen Keller would have been able to see herself glow in the dark after her many scientific experiments.

Helen Keller was an ideal person to have as a role model also because she was a strong independent woman, and I wanted to be as eager as she was to learn. Helen Keller’s story also lead to my extreme admiration for teachers, whose patience knows no limits. So here I am, older, wiser, and Helen Keller’s story continues to fascinate me.

It is her struggle that lead to my fascination with Max, the Guide Dog, a screen reading dog scripted for Second Life users who are blind. Max allows those who are blind to interact with Second Life in ways that were never imagined by any of us. I am a huge fan of Max the Guide Dog, you can read more about him here and follow him on Twitter here @VirtualGuideDog

Basically, Jolie stated that Helen Keller is a dangerous hero because she challenges use.

After Jolie’s presentation, she was asked a couple of questions:

Louise Later asked Jolie:
How did you heard about SL?

Jolie Answered:
I love technology — computers and science, I am a regular listener of radio, and in particular Science Friday. A couple of years ago they talked about SEcond Life and I loved the idea of community. It was interesting to see how the second life community participated in the political debates. How about a snowman asking about global warming? I suggested my nephew create diversity training in second life.

Glitteractica Cookie asked Jolie:
I would like to know how many other users with disabilities that you know of are using virtual worlds?

Louise commented:
Actually, about 1 out of 5 people in Second LifeÆ have a disability
Jolie answered:
I am very interested seeing more blind people in second life there are 6 that I know of.

Louise also shared a very memorable quote:

“Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained though self- gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” Helen Keller (1880-1968)

Rik Xaris, a member of the audience, stated:

“I would just like to say that i think this is amazing and hope that more blind people will hear about the virtual world and join us thank you for enlightening me about the branch of sl that i knew nothing about.”

You can hear Jolie on her radio program called Access Unlimited by going to . According to Jolie, her program often features accessibility issues and technology for persons with disabilities. You can also email Jolie at jolie1magic[at]gmail[dot]com.

The event was a beautiful preview to today’s Helen Keller Day Events in Second Life, where our very own Brena Benoir will be presenting. You can find more information on the Second Life Helen Keller Day wiki page.

Many thanks to Saxet Uralia, Louise Later, and LoriVonne Lustre for making the presentation possible.

A great big thank you to Jolie for visiting us and doing this fantastic presentation!

11:00AM-12:00PM Co-Occurring Disorders in Adolescents Brenda Bryan aka Brena Benoir with Preferred Family Healthcare
Description: We will be examining the prevalence of substance abuse issues and mental health issues among the adolescent populations. We will look at symptoms of mental health issues among the adolescent population. We will examine the concept of self medication and how this relates directly to substance abuse. We will also be focusing on how to increase long-term stability for both substance abuse and mental health issues.

Image: Louise, Max, Jolie, and LoriVonne

Written by: Layal