Ookjij maakt vrienden
Today's digital technologies make accessing the internet increasingly cheaper and easier. The internet not only provides a huge amount of information, but more and more it provides a platform our social life. E-mail, MSN, Hyves and Second Life are all natural and accepted ways of keeping in touch with friends, family, collegues.
Unfortunately, internet does not yet provide this range of possibilities for mentally disabled people, who can barely read or write. The Ookjij Maakt Vrienden project aims to create a communication platform with similar possibilities for the mentally disabled.
Stichting Ookjij aims to make the internet accessible for people with a mental handicap. Together with Moving Bits (webdesign) and Almende, Stichting Ookjij developed the platform Ookjij.nl which enables young people with a mental handicap to access the internet and navigate in a safe and user-friendly environment.
Besides being a source of information, the main function of Ookjij.nl is communication: bringing the users of Ookjij.nl into contact which each other through chat, VoIP, and games. As their social networks are often (relatively) small, increasing and extending their social networks will increase their participation in modern society.
The Ookjij Maakt Vrienden project centers on web communication between young people with different forms of mental handicaps. Besides taking into account the user interface, a Flash environment created by Moving Bits, Almende focused on the back-end of the platform. It realized the possibility of Flash to VoIP connections, intelligent set-up of communication (e.g. escalation in case of emergencies) and intelligent matching (based on feedback algorithms) for chat and gaming.