Improving information about disability healthcare on Wikipedia

When Wikipedia is a first stop for individuals interested in developmental disability-related healthcare, isn’t it important that the information they find there be complete and accurate?

Wikipedia is one of the places many individuals who lack knowledge about developmental disability issues turn to. Some healthcare practitioners consult the site and/or use it as a resource. It is also where journalists writing about healthcare for the developmental disability community sometimes fact-check the details of their stories. Wikipedia’s medical content gets more pageviews than the World Health Organization, the Mayo Clinic, WebMD, or the National Institutes of Health. A 2015 study concluded that “Wikipedia appeared to be the most utilized online healthcare information resource” in the world.*

That’s why Wiki Education and WITH Foundation believe that involving academic experts in adding content to Wikipedia can have a lasting impact. Now we have an opportunity for scholars of disability healthcare to get involved.

A Wikipedia training course for experts

So many scholars can glance at a Wikipedia page related to their expertise and quickly spot an error worth fixing. But the mechanisms to do so aren’t always obvious. Often, experts attempt to make the change and their work is removed.

WITH Foundation is pleased to sponsor the WITH Wiki Scientists training course, a Wiki Education program that demystifies Wikipedia’s inner-workings so that scholars can join this open community and contribute their perspective successfully. Scholars working in disability studies and/or healthcare may apply to participate in the course. The training course is offered free of charge to up to 20 individuals.  This online, synchronous experience will meet once a week over a Zoom video call and participants will discuss all things Wikipedia and information activism. Wiki Education’s staff of Wikipedia Experts facilitate discussions, answer questions, and offer guidance around the site’s most important policies. Course curriculum spans 12 weeks (from February 10 to May 1, 2020). This course is an opportunity for scholars to network and work toward a common goal of enhancing a tool used by many.

We encourage disability healthcare scholars, disability healthcare practitioners, and/or disability studies scholars to apply. Scholars and practitioners with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Wikipedia holds a powerful place in society. Ensuring expert engagement on Wikipedia builds bridges between research and the public.

Apply to be a part of this initiative by January 24, 2020

Want to be a part of the movement? Join the course!

  • Course dates: February 10 – May 1, 2020 (12 weeks). A meeting time will be determined via the registration form based on registrants’ shared availability.
  • Time commitment per week: 1 hour virtual, collaborative meeting; 2 additional hours of independent work
  • Goal: to improve healthcare and disability-related pages on Wikipedia,
  • Apply here by January 24, 2020.

This is a republishing of a blog on WITH Foundation’s site. Read the original post here.


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