Here's a good video about just how important the virtual world Second Life can be for people with disabilities. It's a video by avatar Gentle Heron who co-founded the Heron Sanctuary. The Heron Sanctuary is a community of support for all disabled people. Their community offers members information, companionship, a way to make a living and to contribute to the community, and a way to have fun. The sanctuary assists in providing for those specific needs that can best be met in the virtual environment of Second Life.
I recently met Gentle and she told me about some of the work they are doing at the Sanctuary. I think many people can benifit from this type of support including those affected by Autism. Thanks to people such as this virtual worlds are beginning to be realised to their full potential. There's a full blog about the story of the Heron Sanctuary by Widget Whiteberry here.
This clip was was featured at the Health 2.0 conference on Web 2.0 technologies in healthcare on March 3-4 2008 in San Diego. For more information on Health 2.0, please visit Health 2.0.