The month long New York City school bus strike ended on Feb 20 2013. It cost the City about $21 million to pay for transit cards, taxis abd gas mileage; and bus companies about $100 million in lost revenue (Jake Pearson, Huffington Post New York, 2/20/2013). However, the gravest victims are the children with special needs and their families, since most of such children are unabke to rravel by public ttranspaort on their own. The plight of families with special need children during the bus strike is told by RCSN's Lori Podvesker at City Hall Bus Strike Press Conference (http://youtu.be/VHE7-LdCcHA). Every day, over 10,000 such children were unabke to go to school and tens of thousands of parents hads to miss work to get their children to school. To these parents, the live link to guidance, comfort, support and assistance is social media whose focal point is Resources for Children with Special Needs, a nonprofit organization in New York City providing support and advice to such families.
According to Rachel Howard of RCSN, through webinars, twitter and facebook a large group of audience is catered to thgroughout the strike. Rachel's comment on the use of social media during the stike is availabe at http://vimeo.com/63787642.
In New York City, most of the families of children with special needs are also disadvantaged. The effect of social media on these families may lead to more application of social media in reaching these families with respect to their children's education. New York City school bus strike is a rare event, but if social media can be applied in their daily life towards improvement of edcuation outcome, much greater benefit will ensue from this event. They now know that through social media they can raech out to organizations such as RCSN, which are indeed are a friend in need.