For many with developmental disabilities, Facebook and other social networks are becoming a great equalizer, advocates say.

The online medium can allow friendships to blossom in an environment where limitations are downplayed and there’s less opportunity for stigma. Meanwhile communicating via the Web can offer a self-esteem boost for a population that often falls victim to isolation.

In the case of Sally Harrison, 35, logging on to Facebook helped as she sought out a job and transitioned from a group home to her own apartment. Harrison says she checks in on her 83 friends daily and the online community helps her stay in touch with people she doesn’t see often.

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In an effort to ensure safety, Harrison’s family members are among her Facebook friends and she has restricted privacy settings.

Advocates say Harrison is not alone in making gains through social networking. Joining sites like Facebook can help people with disabilities socialize like everyone else. And, they say that posting comments and photos helps others see that those with disabilities live much like their typically developing peers, reports Agence France-Presse. To read more click here.