“One person can make a difference and every person should try.”
US President John F. Kennedy
Online ADHD awareness and advocacy activities are easier and cheaper than offline ones, and are often more effective. Especially since most people with ADHD don’t have a lot of local services available for them because of a lack of awareness about ADHD and an unwillingness for most adults with ADHD and their families to demand change and services for people with ADHD in the offline world for a variety of reasons. Governments don’t give services out of the goodness of their hearts, people need to raise awareness of why those services like basic diagnosis and treatment of ADHD are important and demand services from the government and the health system.
Regardless of which party you support, I’d strongly suggest ADDers and their families start looking at the US Presidential candidates online websites, blogs and forums to see how they’ve been effective and organizing and connecting and motivating people, fundraising and spreading ideas so that we in the ADHD world can learn from some of tactics and strategies of what they’ve done well to help get the word out about our cause.
Even if you don’t like Barack Obama, his websites and blog have been really massively cutting edge in a number of ways and I think that there are many lessons to be learned from their many sites and many sub sites and individual state websites and blogs. I’m sure there are also some good ideas from John McCain’s sites too. Canada just had a federal election and frankly most of the major parties websites were massive disappointments in comparison.
Probably these sites may start shutting down a lot of their content shortly after November the 4th, so now is the time to check them out and document the good ideas you can find. To save a visual good example of an online site, take a screenshot. On a Macintosh you can take a picture of the screen by pressing the apple key plus the shift key plus the 3 key (or press and hold the 4th key to drag the picture to the area you want) to take a visual example of someone doing something useful online.
We may not be able to duplicate all of their online tactics and strategies, but even if we learn one or two, I think that can help us, whether those ideas are applied to the larger websites like ADDA, CHADD, and the ADHD Coaches Organization or individual ADHD support group websites or personal websites or blogs that some of us ADDers have.
If you have ADHD and don’t have a website or blog of your own, and you want to make a difference for people with ADHD, or have some opinions and ideas you feel are worth expressing, or just want to counter the lies and myths out there about ADHD in adults and children, consider getting one. Ideally one with a domain name, but if not, get a free easy to use blog from sites like WordPress.com, where they take care of most of the technology for you. See this page for some features. 10 years ago you had to be a techie to have a website, today your non techie grandmother can easily create a website or a blog. Or get your teenager to set one up for you:)
There are still a lot of people out in the online world saying ADHD doesn’t exist and is not a real condition. I’ve even created a special page for those dinosaur people. But there needs to be more ADDers and their families with online presences, as well as ADD support groups with websites or blogs. The more ADDers and their families start getting online and showing the human side of ADHD, and start raising awareness and demanding services, the quicker the stigma of ADHD will be reduced and the quicker people with ADHD will get the resources that they deserve. Resources that people with other mental health condition have gotten because they demanded them.
Here in Vancouver BC Canada, it’s very hard to find someone who knowns enough about adult ADHD to diagnose it. We had the only provincial BC Adult ADHD clinic at Children’s hospital get shut down because the one year wait list was politically embarrassing for the Gordon Campbell Liberal (neoconservative really) provincial government. The patients were abandoned and still are. We got coverage on one TV news show but nothing else. Maybe if there were more online ADHD websites and blogs in this province, together we might have been able to save that BC Adult ADHD clinic. Maybe if there were more ADHD websites and blogs in your province or state you could help ADDers get the resources that you’ve been complaining that you need. You can bitch to your spouse and do nothing, or take some action.
I’m trying to raise awareness of ADHD for our vancouver civic election, focusing on the well known links between ADHD and addiction, given Vancouver’s huge addiction and crime problems, hoping the local media and the blogosphere will start noticing. We’ll see how that turns out. There’s also a provincial election in BC soon, May 12, 2009.
Maybe people have seen 1 or 2 useful ideas on the main presidential candidates websites/blogs or on individual local candidate websites that they could share with others Adders. Or send me some examples of how a campaign organized people, promoted ideas, connected people or raised funds that could be applied to people with ADHD (not just why my candidate is better their opponent) and I’ll blog them so other ADDers can take those ideas and modify them to their needs and put them into practice.