Families have important information to share
Friday October 28, 2011 — Deb Bartlett
As its newsletter’s focus shifts from information to storytelling, the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) is seeking families willing to share their stories on the blog.
Carol Stinson of Family Information and Support with BACI, says the organization has a number of family support projects on the go, including the blog.
“I think it’s an interesting place for people to have their thoughts out there,” she says.
The blog can be found at http://family.gobaci.com/.
She hopes families will talk about real issues and share with each other. One of her blog posts was about how some online forums turn into depressing competitions about how badly off their child is.
In reality, Carol says, “my real life experience with parents of children with special needs is the opposite of that. It’s amazing how resilient they are and what they’re able to work through.”
She’d like to see the blog turn into another resource for people supporting a child or other family member with special needs.
“There are so many different ways that people support their family members that have disabilities,” she says. Sharing tips, ideas and programs that help support people are topics she wants to bring out in the blog.
With a background in writing and publishing, Carol has no difficulty sharing her thoughts.
But she’s found people are really shy about sharing ideas.
She says it’s important “to get it out there” and not worry about whether there’s a spelling or grammar error.
One of her favourite blogs is Rolling Around in My Head, by Dave Hingsburger. She admires that he reflects and shares his life and is not afraid to back pedal if he changes his mind.
“It’s thoughtful,” says Carol of the posts. “He reserves the right to change his mind, and that’s what people have to think about. You can change your mind and that’s okay.”
She says blog posters don’t need to worry about being wrong. She wants them to be resilient and just share.
Carol is hoping for better response to the blog, and is thinking of inviting people to write. She hopes that if she asks someone to write down thoughts they’d shared at a meeting they’ll be willing to share with a wider online audience.
Carol says people are using social media and will write a few comments agreeing with someone else’s post. She’d like to see them spend a few more minutes to discuss why they agree.
“I think there’s an appetite for a little bit more,” says Carol.
The blog was originally set up to act as an archive for BACI’s newsletters, so they can be accessed online anywhere. Carol now wants to focus on storytelling.
“We want this to be bigger. Parents have a lot to say and a lot to contribute,” says Carol.
Blog posts can be sent to Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To comment on this story, or to share your family’s experience with BACI, contact Deb at 800-294-0051 ext. 30.