I Stand with Henry: A Case Study of An Advocacy Organization's Use of Social Media – How a Grassroots Organization Can Have a Voice in a Large Public Bureaucracy

I Stand with Henry: A Case Study of An Advocacy Organization's Use of Social Media – How a Grassroots Organization Can Have a Voice in a Large Public Bureaucracy

Kirsten Loutzenhiser (Troy University, USA) and Robert A. Cropf (Saint Louis University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8568-0.ch006
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Abstract

This study investigates a virtual ad-hoc organization known as “I Stand With Henry” (ISWH). It features an individual middle school student with autism practicing self-advocacy. His mission is to support inclusion and get his school district to sanction his ability to be included in the general education setting instead of a separate school for students with special needs. While ISWH is not an official not-for-profit organization, is performs similar functions. Through an in-depth analysis of the ISWH Facebook page, virtual ad-hoc organizations redefine what it means to be a not-for-profit organization. This study analyzes how social media gives voice to the voiceless and how social media equalizes marginalized voices for all students with disabilities to exercise their rights. The chapter employs analyzes conversations within a single case to construct a virtual advocacy model that explains the success of ISWH.

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