Here is a long-overdue update on the purpose of this community forum and what it's intended to do.
For the first version of this platform, I chose to focus on fully developing the Resource Library, as this was the most requested feature from across our three main audiences of the ND community, family, friends and employers.
However, there was an opportunity to put in a very basic version of a community forum, as a concept sketch for more sophisticated development.
Therefore, I am fully aware that there might be quite a few bugs or wonky features in this community forum. Please feel free to report them by leaving a comment here, or shooting me an email at rachel[at]neurodiversitymedia.com so I can compile a full list to pass onto my developers.
To clarify, these are the features that are currently not operational:
- the ability to "follow" people
- the ability to contact people through the "+contact" button at the end of comment posts
However, I hope these features will be operational in the near future.
The basic version of the community forum has been designed to be a sandbox for community forum discussion around key topics about neurodiversity in the workplace. Every member has the ability to "contribute" a Medium-style/LinkedIn-style article post to the forum that will appear under their "Posts" tab on their individual profile. In version one, it is currently limited to pure text only, but in time, we hope it will expand in functionality to include images and videos for greater accessibility.
By joining the Resource Library and accessing this community forum, this is a space where like-minded members who are interested about learning more about neurodiversity in the workplace are able to share their knowledge and insights.
At this stage, all forum posts are public, but we will be looking at private forums in the future to help create safe spaces, especially for our neurodivergent community. As per the free member sign-up, we have not automatically disclosed the affiliation that you signed up as, so you are free to participate without necessarily disclosing your affiliation. The community forum is not publicly viewable to the general public and requires the creation of a registered member account to access. We are committed to visibility of resources and knowledge sharing to bust stigma and empower people at work as a key priority.
On top of the agenda for future development is a proper member directory of those who have signed up to the Resource Library. At this stage, this will be an opt-in process, and will be used as a portal to connect members who may share interests, skills and resources to help each other. More details will be given in 2021.
In the initial early stages of this forum, it will be a place to share relevant resources from the Resource Library for further discussion, or for others to share their knowledge or resources. In time, it will evolve into different types of boards based on your needs.
Blatant self-promotion of services and products is discouraged, unless directly relevant to the promotion of knowledge or helpful resources to a community member's question. However, we welcome you sharing your blogs and external links to articles, videos, infographics and other resources that are helpful.
I will be sharing more detailed community forum guidelines in the near future about what is appropriate posting. However, please assume the usual social media etiquette applies. We will be monitoring this forum and may adapt our community forum guidelines over time.
We will also have our points-based system (Neuros - you may have noticed a blue circle with the word neuros in your individual profile) fully operational by 2021, to automatically reward insightful contributions of knowledge, through unlocking bonus resources and opportunities. In a community based around sharing accessible knowledge to help others reach their potential, you have to give before you get.
I am open to your suggestions as to how you would like this community forum to operate. Feel free to leave your thoughts below!