Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

What Accessibility Means in 25 Words

Filed under: Accessibility 100 — by Glenda at 1:52 pm on Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another Accessibility 100 postEarlier this year I invited readers to share exactly 25 words on:

What does accessibility mean to you?

Why only 25 words? To drill down to the essence of what accessibility truly means.

Participation in this group writing project was overwhelming! The responses were insightful, revealing and personal. They came from people with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, and those who are beginning to consider accessibility.

Download the ebook "What Accessibility Means in 25 Words"After a few amazing delays – like touching gold and zipping across Robson Square – I have finally compiled the responses into a free ebook ”What Accessibility Means in 25 Words”. Download the ebook and feel free to share widely. (You will need the free Adobe PDF Reader to view it.)

Have these insights sparked any further insights, ideas or questions for you? Please feel welcomed to share in the comments below.

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

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What Does Accessibility Mean to You?

Filed under: Accessibility 100 — by Glenda at 3:11 pm on Thursday, January 21, 2010

Another Accessibility 100 postIn launching the 2010 edition of Accessibility 100 – a series of 100 easy-to-implement, free and inexpensive tips for improving accessibility for people with disabilities, I am borrowing a powerful idea from blogger extraordinaire Liz Strauss.

You are invited to share exactly 25 words on:

What does accessibility mean to you?

Why only 25 words? To drill down to the essence of what accessibility truly means.

As Liz explains (with a few minor changes),  “Here’s how you might go about it:

  1. Look for an insight or piece of wisdom about accessibility.
  2. Write a sentence about it.
  3. Count the words you have written.
  4. Edit the sentence until you have 25 words exactly. Notice how your idea changes as you edit and how your feelings change with each rewrite.
  5. Add a picture if you can.
  6. Post your 25 words on your blog (or in the comments below) by January 31st.
  7. Link back to this post or leave a link to your post in the comments section (or both to be sure!).  I don’t want to miss yours when I compile all of them. “

I will compile all of your words into some kind of creative PowerPoint video.

To ensure the project’s richness in perspectives, insights and wisdom, everyone – with or without a disability, impairment or adversity – is welcomed and encouraged to share. Are you in?


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.

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

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8 Simple Ways to Better Serve Customers with Disabilities During the Holiday Shopping Rush

Filed under: Accessibility 100 — by Glenda at 7:50 pm on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another Accessibility 100 post

Tis the season for crowded stores, bustling customers and ringing cash registers! To better serve and assist your customers with disabilities during this busy shopping season, here are eight simple tips to keep in mind:

  1. Keep sidewalks, curbcuts and ramps clear. Even a bit of snow can impede customers using wheelchairs, walkers and crutches.
  2. Enforce your store’s disabled parking spaces. When able-bodied customers park in one of these spaces “to run in for only a few minutes”, those spaces are not available to customers who need it in order to enter your business.
  3. Minimize extra products and displays in aisles. Cluttered aisles make navigating difficult for customers using wheelchairs, walkers and service dogs.
  4. Clean and maintain wheelchair washrooms. An “Out of Order” sign on the only wheelchair stall is definitely cause for panic!
  5. Keep paper and pens handy at the cash registers and services counters. These may be useful when communicating with customers who have hearing or speech impairments.
  6. Review 10 Tips for Communicating with People with Disabilities.
  7. Decorated Christmas trees in shopping mallProvide some seating for the weary shopper. Elderly customers and those with invisible health conditions are unable to walk long distances and must take short breaks.
  8. Take an extra dose of patience in the morning. A  cheerful smile and extra patience can go a long way in easing stressful situations during this joyous season

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.

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

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Local Restaurant’s Attitude Help Accommodate Customers in Wheelchairs

Filed under: Accessibility 100 — by Glenda at 2:37 pm on Monday, November 30, 2009

Accessibility 100All too often businesses and establishments make the news for not being accessible to or accommodating of people with disabilities. Today, I’d like to turn that around by giving a big shout out to the Charthouse Restaurant in Steveston!

On Saturday, Darrell and I attended a small event at the Charthouse. We were the first to arrive, which caused some panic in the staff. They had not been informed that two people in wheelchairs were attending; the space set up for the event was up one step, making it inaccessible to Darrell and I.

While we used the restrooms, which were quite accessible, the staff quickly reorganized tables on the lower level for the event and returned the upper level to its regular layout for other customers. The staff had left plenty of space on the lower level for Darrell and I to maneuver our power chairs.

Fellow guests began arriving and settling into places around the two tables now set up for us. However, when the event host arrived, he was not content with us all sitting at two tables. He wanted us all at one table, as was the arrangement on the upper level.

Once again the staff quickly reorganized and re-set tables on the upper level. I was helped to a chair on the upper level; two fellow guests lifted Darrell in his power chair was lifted up the one step. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch, all sitting around one long table.

I would like to thank the Charthouse staff for being extremely accommodating and patient! Oftentimes a flexible and willing attitude makes up for any shortcomings in physical accessibility.

Thank you, Charthouse.


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.

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

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The Physically Challenged What? Martians?

Filed under: Accessibility 100 — by Glenda at 5:57 pm on Saturday, September 5, 2009

Accessibility 100

Yesterday, while exploring a website promoting an upcoming accessibility workshop, I read:

The physically challenged represent approximately twenty percent of the population, and this number is growing.

I was left wondering the physically challenged what? Horses? Cats? People? Which population? Of Mars?

Physically challenged, disabled and handicapped are not nouns; using them as such is grammatically incorrect and impedes comprehension.

Consider the follows three revised sentences:

Sentence #1: Correcting grammar and improving comprehension, the sentence could be rewritten to read:

Individuals with physical challenges represent approximately twenty percent of the Canadian population, and this number is growing.

Of course, sentence #1 assumes the Canadian population is being referenced.

Sentence #2: Assuming the 20% figure includes all disabilities, the following sentence would be more accurate:

People with disabilities represent approximately twenty percent of the Canadian population, and this number is growing.

Sentence #3: Alternatively, the sentence could be rewritten to read:

Canadians with disabilities represent approximately twenty percent of the population, and this number is growing.

By changing the word “people” to “Canadians”, this segment of the population is given a sense of belonging and citizenry. After all, isn’t that what accessibility is all about?

Words can confuse or clarify, simplify or elaborate, demean or empower. Take care in how they are used; otherwise, readers may think you are talking about Martians with physical challenges!


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.

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

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