The Academy was honored to present at the latest WANA webinar, Digital Inclusion: Clubhouses Expanding Access to Digital Communication and Opportunity. WANA, which stands for we are not alone, is a collaborative effort between our governing body, Clubhouse International, the first established Clubhouse, Fountain House in NYC, and Clubhouse Europe. WANA offers monthly educational webinars that reach a global audience.
The webinar was a response to the sudden demand for increased technology due to the pandemic. As we strive to stay connected with our members who can no longer attend our brick and mortar programs, we must find new ways of staying in touch. The Academy was happy to share the solutions that have worked for us.
Academy member Eric Flanagan, along with Program Coordinator Jeff Jean, presented on our behalf. They laid out the ways in which the Academy reaches our members through technology; from using programs such as Slack, to distributing tablets to our members who are participating from home. Zoom accounts keep us seeing eye-to-eye and screen-sharing helps us to work together safely at a distance and troubleshoot technology issues remotely. Their presentation was highly informative, and it was also heartwarming as they shared video of several appreciative members who are connecting to us from their homes. Maybe we’re biased, but we think that they were also pretty charming, garnering a few laughs along the way.
The other presenters, Sara Call and Oliver Wilhelmsson, are from the Swedish Clubhouse Coalition, which is comprised of 13 Clubhouses across the country. They spoke about their “Digital Inclusion” initiative, which will ensure that all Clubhouse members have access to the technology required to keep them connected to their Clubhouse and the work-ordered day.
Part of the WANA logo includes the words “Stronger together.” We at the Academy couldn’t agree more. We were inspired by the enthusiasm and momentum of the Swedish Coalition, and we are glad to be part of implementing innovative strategies for digital inclusion.