An element inherent in virtual worlds that the mainstream press frequently misses (or deliberately ignores in favor of the more sensational aspects), is that your avatar can be everything you want to be, but for whatever reason, can't be. And while this has led many with otherwise socially-debilitating conditions to achieve a degree of happiness and freedom, there are relatively few organizations devoted to helping disabled people realize new social lives through virtual worlds.
I previously wrote
about Fez Rutherford's 2nDisability
, but here's another wonderful example of people reaching out to help others: The Heron Sanctuary
in Second Life
. Eureka Dejavu and Schmilsson Nilsson (previously podcasted here
) graciously give some space on their blog 'Dispatches From a Virtual World
' to Widget Whiteberry, who talks about the importance of making connections over the Web and founding a virtual community for disabled individuals. It's a worthwhile read and serves to refute the assertions by so many naysayers that there's nothing of value to be had in SL.