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New Social Platform launched to help people with disabilities make friends

2 min read

A NEW friend-making social platform that’s set to revolutionise life for people living with disabilities and their families “Alvie”, has launched into the Australian market this month.

The first-of-its-kind social platform was created to break down the barrier of social isolation felt by people who live with disabilities at any age, and connect them with like-minded people who share similar life experiences, interests and hobbies, facilitating companionship and meaningful friendships.

Alvie was founded by CEO Steve Bear, who spent many years running overnight camps for children with disabilities, seeing first-hand how difficult it can be for children with disabilities to find friends to who they can relate to.

His passion for combatting the loneliness that people with a disability can feel if they are finding it hard to make friends turned into a project, and so Alvie was born.

“From my experience of working with many children with all kinds of disabilities, I understand that loneliness and isolation is one of the biggest challenges these kids face on a day-to-day, and can lead to a lack of personal and social development, as well as an increased risk of mental illness,” said Bear.

“Building Alvie was an opportunity to give people with disabilities at any age, a safe space created specifically for them, where they can feel comfortable, accepted for who they are and experience more social interactions that will hopefully form into meaningful friendships.”

Mr Bear says that Alvie’s algorithm has been designed to match members based on age, location, interests, and hobbies, and will enable an online, one-on-one chat if both members accept, and also provides assistance with facilitating in-person meet-ups.

“There are so many interests to choose from, including NRL, AFL, movies, cooking, art, PlayStation, X-Box, online gaming, playing cards or even just eating out with friends,

“Alvie’s aim is to match people with a disability who have similar interests and hobbies, so they can easily connect, make meaningful friendships and make the most out of life,” he added.

Alvie is proud to be NDIS friendly, supporting the goals listed in the NDIS Participant Plans, which means for members who receive NDIS funding, Core funds or Community Participation funds may be used to pay for 100% of the membership.

The platform is set to become a national community that thrives on inclusivity, engaging communication and connection.

To foster this safe and supportive space, the company has several measures in place to prevent bullying, harassment, abuse or misuse of the platform.

Related: Opinion: Is segregation a dirty word? What we must learn from disability sporting events

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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