Hello, my name is Steve Woodard, and I live in Portage, Wisconsin. I will be 42 in April, and I am a Special Olympic Wisconsin athlete and an athlete leader. I have been in Special Olympics since 1994. I have participated in soccer, softball, bowling, bocce, snowshoeing, swimming, track and field, and more! I am a member of their Athlete Input Council, and I like it. It is something that interests me. What we do is receive information for SO Wisconsin and have debates on what information gets shared with the regions of the state and what events will be happening – it is a lot of communication and teamwork. We have been meeting virtually with COVID-19, which has been great. It motivates athletes, coaches, and staff to be healthy during the pandemic. What I do to stay healthy is going outside with walks, go swimming, and going for bike rides.
I want to share in my blogpost is how I got involved in inclusive research and what motivated me to do so. When I was kid, kids in special education were separate from kids who were not in special education, and it was awful for the kids with special needs. Kids with special needs would be bullied, including myself. Today, kids with special needs are included in the classroom with the other students without special needs, and their learning is just modified but they are still included with the others. Kids with special needs just need a friend. Research is important to me, and I am involved in research to help people with disabilities share their stories. I share my experience to helps other people with disabilities feel comfortable to express their feelings, concerns, and ideas. People are ashamed of some things, and I enjoy sharing my story to get others to share their stories. It is good to let things out and share your feelings, so the anger does not build up and end in a negative result. So, I came up with a research app idea for smartphones and tablets, something that everyone, including family members, friends, teachers, and doctors, is familiar with. I am still thinking of a name for my research app, but the purpose of my app is for people who are feeling upset, angry, depressed, etc., and they can log their feelings into the app. Then the app will suggest activities for you to do to feel better, such as walking, biking, swimming, listening to music, talking to someone, or writing down your feelings in a journal. It is like a virtual counselor or virtual friend. Anyone can use this app, and it can be like a social media (Facebook) where people can meet and have online conversations to support each other and their mental health.
Someone on the app can be a certified monitor that could support the group and facilitate conversations. I work with people from different organizations, such as United Way, ADRC, and Special Olympics, and they can have access to this app and help their organization members. I want people to understand that anyone can use my app and benefit from it. I want it to help support your mental health. With my experience, I know this would be a great idea many organizations can use this app.
I would like to turn my research app idea into a real app that everyone can have access to. I am just looking for a company that will help me program or develop my research app!
I do not have a name yet, so can you help me think of one?
How can I make my app better? Do you have any ideas on what activities the app can include? I can’t wait to hear about them! 🙂
Please comment below to share your ideas! Thank you for reading my blog post.