With the right supports, anyone can meet their potential!
ONEder recently had the opportunity to interview Moshe Gaon, a founder of Yoocan: the global collaborative community for sharing experiences and knowledge by and for people with disabilities. Yoocan’s mission is to make sure that people in the disability community don’t feel alone. “… No matter where you are, you will be able to find a story, a tip, a recommendation, a connection that can improve your life and actually help you do more,” says Moshe.
Stories on Yoocan include the inspiring testimonies of Benny, a quadriplegic man who became a mouth painter, Sofie, a dancer and tennis player courageously defying her spina bifida, and Robert, a talented poet with epilepsy! Thousands of Yoocan community members across the globe write stories and find support in every category from horseback riding, to skiing, to diving, to traveling, to music, to fashion. “When I read the stories on Yoocan I like to take the time and look at the big picture. If you take the time to look big you will realize that each story is like a mosaic tile. Each tile represents an individual’s story. If each individual only looked at their one piece of tile, then you might feel like you’re alone in the world. You might feel like nobody can possibly understand your circumstances. None of us will know exactly what it’s like to be in another person’s shoes but there are many similarities we can all relate to; the stories on @yoocandoanything show us that. You’ll notice all those individual tiles/stories have a thread that connects them all. Each story is about overcoming obstacles. There are stories of strength. There are stories of courage, and there are stories of perseverance.” — writes Megan King, a Yoocan storyteller.
Moshe’s 10-year-old nephew Erez has deeply impacted the development of Yoocan. Since Erez was born with a complex disability and a rare disease, he has challenged doctors’ predictions of what his life would look like at every turn of his wheelchair. “He actually speaks and understands 5 languages… many of the caregivers that are working with him, they come from different countries. So, every time he has a caregiver from a different country, he kind of learns how to speak the language.” Uncle Moshe and Erez’s father came to realize that “a family [living with disabilities] needs special products, special services, or preparations, etc.” as well as access to a deeper sense of understanding, hope and information.
Grounded in the belief that everyone can reach their goals if they have access to the right tools, Yoocan is providing people with community access to unique services and products (like ONEder)! Over 800 organizations have joined the Yoocan platform over the past 18 months, as well as thousands of storytellers contributing from more than one hundred countries around the world.