Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Letter to Santa 2010

Filed under: General — by at 4:36 pm on Friday, December 24, 2010

Dear Santa,
I’m writing this while waiting for the flight to Honolulu for a much needed and a well-deserved holiday with my sweet husband.
2010 was awesome and amazing! More than I expected.
I am not in want for anything. I have a wonderfully supportive husband, a cuddly kitty, friends and family around the world, a beautiful home and adequately stocked cupboards. What more do I need?
All that I’d like to ask for is that my friends and family are blessed in the one way they need most.
Thank you and Merry Christmas.
love, Glenda

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Feeding Christmas Dinner to Those Most in Need

Filed under: Blogging — by at 7:13 pm on Friday, December 17, 2010

In the last two years, you have generously fed 160 people in need a Christmas dinner by buying “The Best of The Left Thumb Blogger” ebook to support the Union Gospel Mission’s (UGM) Christmas Campaign.

I’d like to ask again for your help with feeding warm Christmas dinners to those who are truly in need, those who are struggling to find enough food to eat and a warm place to sleep.

This year, rather than compiling selected blog posts into an ebook and selling it for a fixed price with the proceeds going to the UGM, I’m offering a list of selected posts with a ChipIn Widget – enabling you to read the posts and make a donation, if any, comfortable for you. (Click the orange “ChipIn!” button to securely donate via PayPal.) Donations will be accepted until Tuesday,  December 21st midnight (pacific time).

Why these particular posts?

These ones chronicle a journey I have been on for the past few years: from “non-verbal” to speech impaired to well-traveled speaker, with the occasional insight along the way.

Happy reading and thank you.

Merry Christmas.

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I’ll Do It Myself Now Available on the Kindle

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself: The Book — by at 12:39 pm on Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'll Do It Myself by Glenda Watson Hyatt - Kindle Edition

My autobiography I’ll Do It Myself has gone digital and is now available on the Amazon Kindle!

This means my book can now be enjoyed on all of these devices (links take you to the device pages):

For those individuals who prefer holding the real book in your hands, 192 paperbacks and 34 large-print copies are still available from me, complete with autograph too! 😉

Happy reading!

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The iPad: Cheap and Disruptive AAC?

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 12:09 am on Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Since the iPad’s release in April, countless stories have emerged of people with disabilities finding creative uses for the mainstream gadget; the greatest life-changing use being communication. The iPad with Proloquo2Go or a similar communication app suddenly creates an affordable assistive and augmentative communication (AAC) device, which can only disrupt the traditional AAC industry.

I shared my initial thoughts on the iPad as an affordable communicator in an earlier post. Since then, my initial review has only been reconfirmed, repeatedly. How I wish the iPad existed years earlier.

A few years ago Darrell and I explored communication devices that might be suitable for me. He invited a contact to our home to demonstrate various communication devices he represented. One device – a Dynavox of some sort – looked interesting, something I might use, occasionally. The price tag was a hefty $8000, which, because I’m not employed I’m not eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services or other funding, I’d be on the hook for the full price. Nix to that!

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

Darrell and I went down to London Drugs and, after much discussion, picked up a Toshiba Libretto – a fully functional computer in a small package for little more than a quarter of the Dynavox price. I have used it to give several presentations, take notes at conferences, and participate in group discussions

However, despite its small size, using it for spontaneous communication was clumsy: I had to unzip the laptop case, undo the Velcro straps, pull out the laptop, find a horizontal surface to place it on, boot it and run the desired software before I could type out what I wanted to say. By then the conversation had progressed and my contribution was old, disjointed. The laptop – although useful for some purposes – wasn’t really convenient for communication in the way I needed it to be.

Whereas, the iPad is easily whipped out of my handbag and quickly gets to the point where I can begin communicating. With the Proloquo2Go app, I have the flexibility to use the pre-loaded vocabulary and phrases or the onscreen keyboard with a font size large enough to read from a comfortable distance, even in a dimly lit location; like, a bar!

The iPad app Pproloquo2Go

And, with a wifi connection, I can show something on my blog or elsewhere on the internet, taking the conversation even deeper – something that would not be possible with a single-function AAC device.

The iPad has given me a communication device that suits my current needs, for a price I could afford. Without the iPad, I – and so many others – would have continued going without a device for basic communication.

However, the iPad isn’t appropriate for every person in need of a communication device. Some individuals need the ruggedness and the simplicity of a single-function AAC device.

This is the topic Joseph O’Connor, father of a non-verbal teenaged daughter, and I will be exploring during our session “The New AAC: Cheap and Disruptive?“ at the 26th Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN), March 15-19, 2011, in San Diego.

Through our two case studies and from further research, we will  examine issues facing users, teachers and other professionals, school districts and other institutions, software vendors, and equipment manufacturers as we move into this new exciting phase of AAC development.

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