Overarching intentions: demystifying disability, raising awareness of posAbilities
Michelle Strutzenberger

PosAbilities is about to take its passion for storytelling to a whole new level with the launch of a digital storytelling effort.

The posAbilities communications department set a goal this year to develop a Youtube channel, and it’s about to kick that off with a beginning campaign.

This first set of videos will mostly share someone’s lived experience while blending in information about programs and services.

Where it’s appropriate, they will be light-hearted and fun.

For instance, some will feature the posAbilities drama program, the Stage Door Theatre group, which lends itself to a light-hearted approach. There are also plans for some “beautiful, touching, heart-warming stories” to be shared over the Christmas season, says director of community engagement Monique Nelson.

And there are some surprises coming, Monique notes, adding with a chuckle that she doesn’t want to give it all away just yet but staff and persons served can look forward to some chances to join in energetic activities.

The overarching themes for this new digital storytelling effort include demystifying disability and raising awareness of what posAbilities is all about.

“There are lots of people who don’t know us, so the question is, ‘How can we reach out to them?’ ” says Monique.

“Through a fun, engaging and heartwarming way, we hope to open up  many new doors by increasing our profile through social media.”

Monique notes short-term goals include building a larger audience online, including a stronger Facebook following through this Youtube channel.

“We want to create scenarios where people will want to share their stories — and to build meaningful relationships in our community,” she adds.

This first posAbilities video will be launched Nov. 6, with another seven to follow up between then and Jan. 2. PosAbilities’ community inclusion, employment services, Shared Living and behaviour supports efforts are among the programs to be featured.

There will be various opportunities for people to get involved in the videos, from production to sharing their own stories, and, of course, circulating the videos after.

The new digital storytelling complements the expansion of posAbilities’ Facebook efforts at the same time. New program-specific Facebook pages will be created and used to link to other like-minded community networks.

For instance, the posAbilities Alternative Creations Studio will have its own Facebook page as a tool to connect with other arts-based groups. This page in particular is intended to help build a profile before the Eastside Culture Crawl arts event in November, a major Vancouver art tour that posAbilities participates in each year.

The first posAbilities Youtube video will be taken at the posAbilities inclusion art show Oct. 25, showing how the organization participates in the arts, as well as how the people it supports are standing shoulder to shoulder with their neighbours and included.

“(We want) to use social media for one of the things that it’s best known for, which is precipitating social change,” says Monique, reflecting on the greatest possibilities she sees in this new effort.

In that respect, she adds, the “sky is the limit.”

Youtube personality Josh Rimer and network marketer Alisha Mann will be providing support in developing the Youtube channel.

To join the posAbilities social media conversations now, connect to @posabilites11 on Twitter, or visit the posAbilities’ Facebook page here.

Feel free to comment on this story below, or e-mail michelle(at)axiomnews.ca.