Second Life is a virtual experience where all things are possible. It offers us the chance to engage in things individuals with physical and cognitive challenges might not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy; live music, long walks on the beach, bike rides, shopping malls, sailing, dancing, and more.
Along with entertainment and socialization opportunities, there are activities such as support groups, workshops on health, presentations from noted institutions such as the Mayo Clinic and Harvard University, opportunities for small business development, learning a new language, even taking classes and finishing a degree.
BEST has created a virtual presence for reaching out to those with brain injury and their caregivers. BEST hosts a variety of social events, small group discussions, workshops, and skills training. Our trainers also work with nonprofit leaders, businesses, artists, and educators on how to support cognitive challenges in the workplace, respectful communication, how to navigate bad behaviors, and more.
Our goal in Second Life is twofold:
- to support those with brain injury engage in alternative and meaningful learning and PEER support and
- to help those that interact with individuals with brain injury understand best practices and how to employ meaningful supportive engagement.
Studies show that many of those with physical and cognitive challenges have an increased sense of self-worth, belonging, and improved quality of life through the many experiences they have in Second Life and are better able to adjust to changing real life circumstances. Stephen Bennett, of United Cerebral Palsy, stated in an interview with CNN.com, “… people with disabilities experience a sense of worth, freedom, and the ability to contribute to society when they use Second Life.”
BEST created the BEST PEER Center at Etopia for BESTies to get together to spend time together, have support group meetings, and much more. We offer in-world facilitator training, our acclaimed Moving On & Identity After TBI course, workshops, mindfulness retreats, and host our annual Cognitive Convention; CogniCon.
We invite you to visit the BEST PEER Center at Etopia. A Landmark is available in our main office at Etopia Plaza.
You can learn more about Etopia at our dedicated website, http://etopiaisland.org
In 2018 Etopia was a featured presentation at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference. Learn more about Etopia and BEST in this video:
Enjoy the video below from a conference held in Second Life in 2015. We share our BEST superhero story and why we are in Second Life (begins at the 2:54 mark and ends at 9:45).