Craegmoor Marks key Moment Through New Partnership With First Ever International Social Networking Website for People With Learnig Disabilities

By Craegmoor, PRNE
Wednesday, November 25, 2009

WORCESTER, England, November 26 - Craegmoor - the leading independent provider of support for
people with learning disabilities, mental health illnesses and older people -
launched its new brand identity, which was marked by the announcement of it
working with the world's first ever international social networking website
specifically designed for people with learning disabilities.

The news was officially announced at Learning Disability Today
2009 on Wednesday 25th November in London. It provides evidence of
Craegmoor's ongoing commitment to making things possible for people with
learning disabilities, mental health illnesses and older people.

Special Friends Online ( -
dubbed by many as a "Friendly Facebook" - provides a haven as safe and secure
as possible for people with learning disabilities, their parents, carers and
volunteers to meet people and make friends with like-minded individuals from
28 countries around the world. Members also have the chance to interact with
many of their learning disabled heroes and hear the inspirational stories of

In developing the site, founder Martin Harris wanted to make
sure that it was readily accessible to as many people as possible - including
those who find communicating tricky. To do so, 'Smiley Talk' was developed -
a special language with smiley face icons, 150 questions and 450 answers all
pre-set for use by people who have problems using a keyboard or simply
knowing what to say. These can all be translated into 14 different languages.

Through its work with Special Friends Online, Craegmoor hopes
to encourage the people it supports, and others throughout the UK, to sign up
free of charge with the site. A road show set to begin in January will also
see Special Friends Online go nationwide and to the people.

Carol Anstee, who is supported by Craegmoor said:

"I know people with learning disabilities often feel very isolated and
find it difficult to make friends. Special Friends Online looks great and I
am sure it will help lots of people and I am looking forward to using it."

Speaking at Learning Disability Today 2009, Craegmoor's Chief
Operating Officer Christine Cameron said:

"At Craegmoor we believe passionately that every person,
regardless of the challenges they face, should have the opportunity to get
involved in everyday things, including social networking. So our new brand
identity is all about celebrating the extraordinary achievements of the
people we support."

"Special Friends Online is an amazing and imaginative project
that has already seen thousands of friendships blossom in a safe and
supportive environment. With Craegmoor's involvement, we hope that even more
people will come together chat and make friends."

Martin Harris, Special Friends Online's creator, said:

"The idea to create Special Friends Online came when I
attended the World Special Olympic Games held in Shanghai, China in 2007. I
saw so many amazing friendships being formed and I wondered how these people
could keep in touch in a safe and secure way - so we developed Special
Friends Online."

"Through speaking to people with learning disabilities, their
parents and carers, we know that they often find it hard to meet new people
and make friends. Special Friends Online makes this very easy. The inclusion
of numerous safety features - including 24 hour moderation - also means that
everyone can have confidence that users are being protected."

"We are really excited about Craegmoor's support for this
project and hope that the site's online community will continue to grow and
grow worldwide."

For further information please click or call +44(0)207-819-6268

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