Custom social network expands opportunities

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How do you expand digital technology and social networking to individuals with special needs?

This was the challenge an international non-profit client of Catalyst faced. It wanted to develop a “Facebook-like” social network for over 17,000 people that would engage individuals, promote communication and ensure a safe social space for different user populations.

Catalyst immediately engaged key stakeholders in an iterative approach and helped craft an innovative solution: a social network based on images, not words, that enabled segmentation and secure access by distinct groups. Leveraging an open source social networking framework, Catalyst created the base social network and custom developed other features, such as a games section and the capacity for messages to be written via pictographs or typing.

To promote user adoption, Catalyst’s business analysts worked directly with the social network’s users, both individuals and employees, to better understand unique needs, identify critical areas of influence and help guide usage.

The results were the rapid deployment of a safe social networking environment for people with special needs that improves individual productivity and creates interaction among individuals with differing requirements.

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