Stop the Shadows news

Australian App launches to connect disabled people

somebody using the alvie app on their phone

A social media program recently launched in Australia is helping disabled people connect with others using an accessible platform.

Steve Bear came up with the idea of Alvie to conquer loneliness in the disabled community.

Users can share their hobbies and experiences with other disabled and like-minded people through the country’s ground-breaking app to form new friendships and potential intimate relationships.

“From my experience of working with many children with all kinds of disabilities, I understand that loneliness and isolation are one of the biggest challenges these kids face on a day-to-day, and can lead to lack of personal and social development, as well as an increased risk of mental illness,” Bear told Pro Bono.

“Building Alvie was an opportunity to give people with disabilities at any age, a safe space created specifically for them, where they can feel comfortable, accepted for who they are and experience more social interactions that will hopefully form into meaningful friendships.”

Alvie’s algorithm has been designed to match members based on their age, interests, location and hobbies. If both users consent they can go on to start one-to-one conversations.

“There are so many interests to choose from, including NRL [ National Rugby League ] , AFL [ Australian Football League ] , movies, cooking, art, PlayStation, X-Box, online gaming, playing cards, or even just eating out with friends,” Bear said.

“Alvie’s aim is to match people with a disability who have similar interests and hobbies, so they can easily connect, make meaningful friendships and make the most out of life.”

To tackle cyber hate-crime Alvie has in-built measures preventing abuse, bullying or harassment so the app can’t be misused, all users must undergo an Australian police check before their membership is authorised.

“We’re doing everything we can to make it as safe as we can make it,” Bear assured.

“A lot of the time the participant, the member of Alvie [is not] aware of what is totally inappropriate, so that’s why it’s not an automatic suspension or deletion of your account because we’re going to use it also as a tool to help the socialisation and understanding [of] what is appropriate and what is inappropriate at different times.”

[ To support ABLE2UK campaign highlighting loneliness in the disabled community please use #StopTheShadows on social media ]

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