Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Get Out of My Way, I Have Work to Do

Filed under: Motivation,Work — by at 8:16 pm on Tuesday, July 14, 2009

With this blog being more than 2.5 years old, I figured it was time to add a “Services” page to let readers know what I do when I’m not here blogging. Adding a “Services” page is something I’ve often considered over the past 2.5 years. I mean, how can people hire me if they don’t know the kind of work I do? It only makes sense, right?

But, I wasn’t sure how to write one, even after exploring other people’s pages. How do I lay it out? What should I include? How do I make it sound appealing? How do I make my “Services” page about the reader rather than about me? After all, that is what social media is about.

Well, today was the day to write “Work with Glenda”, or, at least, draft it. Some ideas had been bouncing around in my head for a few days. Getting those ideas out and on my blog would be a start. From there, the words and layout could be a massaged and perfected. Something would be better than nothing!

Besides, writing “Work with Glenda” today was more appealing than doing the quarterly GST (Goods & Sales Tax) or getting organized enough to begin tackling income tax (thank goodness we don’t owe!).

But, rather sitting down and doing the task at hand, I frittered away the afternoon. I got in my own way of getting the job done! And now I am writing this post instead of writing what I ought to be.

At times I am my biggest barrier to getting stuff done. I get in my own way. I can only imagine how much I could get done if I just did it!

Anyone else know what I’m talking about? 😉

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Tire Tracks on the Clean Kitchen Floor

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 2:07 pm on Friday, July 10, 2009

Wheelchair tire tracks on the kitchen floorLike many proud homeowners, loving wives and dutiful daughter-in-laws, I aspire to keeping a well-kept home.

However, no matter how many times my foot drags the wet cloth back and forth across the floor, no mater how long I wait for one section to dry before washing the next, and no matter how relatively cat hair-free I manage to get it, I always end up with tire tracks on the clean kitchen floor!

Scuff marks along the wallThe tire tracks on the floor go along with the scuff marks on the walls…

A chewed up doorway and scratched toilet bowl the chewed up doorways, and the scratched toilet.

That’s life with two people who use wheelchairs indoors!

It’s unavoidable!

But, if the kitchen flooring ever gets redone, it’ll definitely be tiled in grime grey!

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How to Add Talking Captions to PowerPoint Presentations

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 3:07 pm on Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Glenda Watson Hyatt presenting at SOBCon 09: Biz School for Bloggers
(Photo credit: Becky McCray)

The Dilemma

Create an amazing and fully captioned PowerPoint presentation for SOBCon: Biz School for Bloggers.

I had created a captioned presentation for AccessCamp San Antonio, but the synthesized voice of Kate wasn’t linked to the captions. Too many keyboard strokes were required, which meant too much room for error while presenting.

I needed a way to link the speech files to the captions and to minimize the keyboard strokes required during the presentation.

The Solution

Before creating the PowerPoint slides, I added caption boxes to the Master Slides, using Glenna Shaw’s wonderful tutorial as a guide. After some tweaks (which I may share later), several late nights and way too much Lindt 90% dark chocolate, I figured how to add talking captions to PowerPoint presentations.

As you will see from the video (or the step-by-step instructions below), the process is tedious, mind-numbing and very time consuming. For the most part, the video is the actual time it took me to complete each step to add the talking captions for the first slide. (My SOBCon presentation had 35 slides!) Of course, adding the captions came after the content was written and the slides were created.

The Video

The Step-by-Step Instructions

For those individuals who prefer written instructions,  here they are:

  1. Write the text in Microsoft Word or any word processor.
  2. Copy a caption-length of text.
  3. Paste it into the text-to-speech program TextAloud.
  4. In the Title box, type a filename using the format slide number hyphen caption number (e.g., slide 1-1) for easy identification.
  5. Listen to the text being spoken to determine whether any tweaks are needed so that the pronunciation and speed sound ok.
  6. Save the file. 
  7. Switch to PowerPoint 2007 and paste the caption text into the first caption box on the first slide. (How the caption boxes are created may be the subject of another post.)
  8. So that the captions scroll during the presentation, the animation added when the caption boxes were created now need to be activated. Click on the Animation tab along the top, and then click Custom Animation. The Custom Animation panel opens on the right side of the screen.
  9. On the first box that reads Layout:Body, choose Copy Effects to Slide from the dropdown box. This adds all of the caption boxes to the animation list.
  10. Link the speech file to the caption by choosing Effect Options from the first animation’s dropdown box.
  11. A dialog box pops up. From there, click on Sound and type the letter o for the short cut to Other Sound…
  12. Locate and select the speech file. Click OK. The first talking caption is complete.
  13. Repeat the process for each caption.
  14. Remove the unused boxes so that blank boxes do not appear in the presentation by zooming out to 20% to view the slide and all of the caption boxes and then select the unused boxes.
  15. On the Custom Animations panel, click Remove. This removes the unused boxes from the animation list. However they still remain on the slide, which is handy in case more captions need to be added later to the slide. The unused boxes will not appear in the presentation because they have been removed from the animation list.
  16. Repeat the entire for each slide show.
  17. See what the presentation actually looks like by hitting F5 to begin the slide show.
  18. Appropriately reward yourself!

The Result

A rockin’ presentation at SOBCon!

Although the process is tedious, mind-numbing and time-consuming, the end result is impressive. Captions and slides are advanced by hitting the space bar. Should I accidentally hit the space twice, the error is quickly rectified by hitting the back arrow key. It means I, with a significant speech impairment, can give a captivating presentation!

Why am I sharing this?

For three reasons:

  1. Creating this video was an experiment to see if I could and how long it would take me to create a fully-captioned instructional video using Camtasia for the screen captures and the voice of Kate. (The answer: three days!)
  2. In case someone else in a similar situation can use this solution. Or, if this solution may spark other ideas or uses.
  3. To invite feedback and ideas on how to simplify or improve this process. I would like to give more presentations of this nature, but it is a rather time-consuming project. Preparing presentations this way, I could only prepare 3-5 per year, realistically.

Comments are open. Let’s hear your ideas!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Given the Bum View on Canada Day

Filed under: Accessibility 100 — by at 12:11 am on Friday, July 3, 2009

Accessibility 100Wednesday Darrell and I went downtown to Canada Place to celebrate our nation’s birthday. Because Canada Place is undergoing renovations, festivities were held outside. It was a beautiful day for one massive block party!

One view of the harbour from Vancouver's new convention centre

Having spent a few days earlier this year in downtown Chicago, which is wall-to-wall cement and glass, I now appreciate how green Vancouver’s downtown core actually is. I can’t imagine living in a city barren of trees.

View of Dead Man's Island from Vancouver's Convention CentreMaking our way through the crowds, we managed to reach Vancouver’s new convention centre

Impressive space! Impressive views!

Automatic door openerHowever, for a “green-designed, state-of-the-art facility” that was several hundred million dollars over budget, I was slightly disappointed at the accessibility.

Automatic doors were few and far between. Sitting at one door, after several people had walked through without holding it open for us, one well-meaning woman happened by and asked, “Are you wanting to go through?” No, I’m just sitting here in front of the door, looking like a dufus, for no reason. She kindly held the door for us.

Glenda Watson Hyatt, Vancouver legend Dal Richards and Darrell HyattBack outside, we found our way to another stage in time to enjoy Vancouver bandleader legend Dal Richards.

Posing for a photo with Dal, after buying his latest CD, was definitely my highlight of the day!

The back side of people standing in front of us

The 1st Annual Canada Day Parade was definitely a bummer for us. Despite being on the road, parked right against the curb, while standing spectators were constantly told to back up onto the sidewalk, Darrell and I saw very little of the parade. People persistently stood in front of us, with no regard that we could not see. Even after I tapped several on the shoulder and they responded with “Sorry”, they did not move. Very inconsiderate and rude!

We are unable to stand to peer over shoulders. Stepping to side would have been a simple way to make the parade accessible to  us. It makes me wonder how ready Vancouver really is for the Paralympics.

Having had enough of the crowds, we did not stay around for the fireworks.

Darell and I look forward to seeing more of the 2nd Annual Canada Day Parade!

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