Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Social Media Empowers Otherwise Silenced Voices

Filed under: Social Media — by at 6:12 pm on Friday, July 31, 2009

Liz Strauss challenges us to write 25 words on social media advice or wisdom,  which she will then compile into an amazingly creative blog post.

Here’s my contribution:

Social media gives voices to individuals marginalized and ignored by traditional media, enabling the world to hear these voices for the first time in history.

What would be your contribution?  Share your thoughts in the comments below or in a post on your own blog with a link back to Liz’s post.

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Copy Cats and Tweeting Birds

Filed under: Social Media — by at 1:13 pm on Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tweeting bird Copying an idea from Chris Brogan, who copied from Copyblogger Brian Clark, I’d like to invite you to connect with me on Twitter, if you use that social media tool.

On Twitter, I share links related to accessibility and such,  thoughts and ponderings in the moment they occur, whatever else I feel like sharing in 140 characters or less. In other words, the stuff that happens in between blog posts.

Check out my Twitter profile and you’ll discover the special landing page I’ve created especially for fellow tweeters – an idea I copied from the brilliant social media diva Laura Fitton (@Pistachio on Twitter).

Hope see you in Twitterville!

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Visitability Practices Increases Community Inclusion

Filed under: Accessibility 100 — by at 1:50 pm on Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Accessibility 100When my parents bought my first electric scooter way back in Grade 8, the world that I could explore on my own grew significantly. That world soon included Beth’s house.

Beth was my first friend in high school and she lived around the corner and up a short block from us. Once I  had my scooter, I was able to go independently to Beth’s house, although Mom did do the “Mom-thing” the first time by watching from the corner to make sure I got there okay.

Other than our own house, which was a rancher, Beth’s house was the only house I didn’t need to be carried into. There was a door from the carport into the family room. There was even a small bathroom on the ground flour.

Beth’s house was ahead of its time. Now there is “visitability”:

…a movement to change home construction practices so that virtually all new single-family homes offer a few specific features that make the home easier for people who develop a mobility impairment to live in and visit. Visitability ensures that everyone, regardless of mobility, will be able to at least visit someone else’s home, use the washroom and exit the home.

(From Visitability: Moving Towards Livable, Sustainable Housing and Communities in Canada – PDF document)

According to the article, the technical requirements include:

  • a zero step entrance,
  • at least 32-inch clear opening width of main floor doorways, and
  • at least a half bath on the main floor.

Visitability practices benefits people with limited mobility and enables seniors to “age in place” with minimal renovations needed. Visitability increases opportunities for social interaction and inclusive, livable communities.

Why is visitability being included in Accessibility 100 – a series focusing on easy-to-implement, free and inexpensive tips for improving accessibility for people with disabilities?

The way for the visitability movement to gain momentum is by first increasing the awareness and interest in the need for this housing construction practice.

From increased awareness and understanding comes increased support:

  • for visitability initiatives,
  • for changes to bylaws requiring visitable and adaptable housing, such as the bylaws adopted by the District of Saanich, and
  • for favouring visitability practices when buying a home.

What opportunities exist to support visitability or to initiate such a practice to increase inclusion in your community?

Accessibility 100 is a series of 100 easy-to-implement, free and inexpensive tips for improving accessibility for people with disabilities. This is a community project. Feel free to leave your comments, questions and ideas for future Accessibility 100 posts.

Get the entire series by subscribing to this blog by filling in the form in the upper right corner or by subscribing to the RSS feed.

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Open Source Screen Reader Gives Sighted Individuals a Glimpse into the Blind World

Filed under: Blog Accessibility — by at 11:08 pm on Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Recently I came across NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) – a free and open source screen reader compatible with Microsoft Windows. Not only does NVDA give individuals with visual impairments an alternative to the ridiculously over-priced screen readers, it also provides the rest of us the opportunity to experience screen readers. 

WebAIM provides a quick start guide for using NVDA to evaluate web accessibility. Of course, using NVDA on your own shouldn’t replace including proficient screen reader users from your usability and accessibility testing. But, NVDA does finally give sighted individuals a way to experience what individuals with visual impairments deal with every time they use the computer. For more insights into how individuals with visual impairments use screen readers, check out WebAIM’s comprehensive screen reader survey results.

If you’re up for a challenge, install NVDA and have a listen to your favourite blogs or websites. Feel free to share what you discover in the comments below.

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Getting Out of My Own Way Gets Things Done

Filed under: Motivation,Work — by at 8:02 pm on Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Yesterday I spent the day getting in my own way while trying to write the long overdue “Work with Glenda” page. I even blogged about avoiding the task, rather than doing it!

This morning I attempted the task again. Surprisingly, the ideas and words flowed this time. Perhaps publicly declaring my goal to have something up by day’s end, to which my readers could hold me, was enough to get myself out of my way!

Or, perhaps it was the two pieces of advice that fellow tweeter John Hayden shared:

  1. Susan Murphy’s post “Want Real Success? Then Get to Real Work” in which she distinguishes between real work and fake work. How many of us keep busy with fake work rather than with real work? Great question!
  2. The Cult of Done Manifesto – this links to a graphical version without appropriate alternative text. The text version appears below.

The Cult of Done Manifesto

  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.

Written by Bre Pettis

Whatever it was, after 2.5 years of procrastinating, stalling, and, generally, getting in my own way, this blog now has a “Work with Glenda” page! Yes!

Admittedly, it is not perfect and will likely evolve. Feedback is most welcomed. But, it is a start. Getting that done feels so good and definitely deserves an extra scoop of chocolate ice cream tonight!

Did you manage to stay out of your way today?

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