Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Giving an Award-Winning Speech on my iPad

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 11:25 pm on Monday, November 1, 2010

Two days after returning from our week in Las Vegas, Darrell and I attended Douglas College’s Self-Employment Program’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. I had been nominated for the High Tech Award. (Yes, sometimes life is rough!)

I needed to prepare a one-minute acceptance speech in the event of being announced as the finalist. Not eager to need to pull out my laptop, which takes longer than a minute to boot, I wanted to be able to whip out my iPad for the task.

But how could I get the NeoSpeech voice of Kate, which I use in all of my presentations and which people have come to recognize as “my voice”, onto my iPad?

Yes, I do have the text-to-speech Proloquo2Go app on my iPad, but Kate is yet a voice option. I wasn’t feeling adequately geeky to get the Kate voice file from the CD onto my iPad, assuming that file format is even compatible with the app. That mash-up might still come; later, after consuming an appropriate level of dark chocolate.

Screenshot of email with attachment on my iPad Then brilliance struck: what if I used my text-to-speech TextAloud on my computer to create the audio file and then email it as an attachment to myself on my iPad? My experiment passed the test in the lab. Would it work flawlessly live?

When the award program came to the High Tech category, the nominees were announced and the award sponsor, the Business in Vancouver Media Group, introduced. I woke up my iPad and held my breath.

Remarks about the finalist were made and then the winner’s name announced: Glenda Watson Hyatt of Soaring Eagle Communications.

I drove up in front of the stage, with my iPad on my lap. I was presented with my crystal brick award. Official photographs were taken. Then the Master of Ceremonies knelt beside me, holding a microphone next to my iPad. I tapped play and Kate spoke my acceptance speech perfectly!

Screenshot of the Quicktime player on my iPad


There was a technical difficulty with the microphone…it was not on! My brief speech was not heard. My heart sank, but I kept smiling.

Once Kate had finished, the emcee kindly took my iPad up to the podium mic. Having never used an iPad before, he was able to figure out to tap play. My words were then heard.

Another door had opened for me in that moment: I had just given my first speech on my iPad!

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Can the iPad Make My High School Reunion Bearable?

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 6:48 pm on Friday, September 17, 2010

Glenda's grad photo Saturday night is a mega high school reunion for the schools in North Delta. Can you believe I graduated from high school twenty-five years ago this September? I can’t!

I am very tempted to go, but I’m also somewhat hesitant. Being the only one with a significant physical disability…which I really didn’t mind…it was my corner…everyone knew me, but not many really knew me. Only a small handful of close friends understood Glenda-ish.

Conversations at previous reunions went something like “Hey Glenda! Great seeing you! You’re looking good.”.…then they moved onto the next vaguely familiar face.

I am much more looking forward to seeing my bloggy friends at BlogWorld and New Media Expo in Vegas in three weeks! They know the current me from my blog and my tweets, which make face-to-face encounters more comfortable, more familiar. And, now with my iPad, conversations can even go deeper than ever possible before.

Is it possible the iPad could help me take conversations beyond the superficial at this reunion? Is it possible my high school classmates could finally get to know me beyond my letter grades – and vice versa? Is it possible using the iPad for communication could make my high school reunion bearable, even enjoyable? Is it worth going to the reunion to find out?

Will I spend a quiet evening at home, wondering what I’m missing but saving myself from revisiting the past…or will I don my favourite purple blouse, grab my iPad and catch the bus to Scottsdale – in the name of this blogger doing research for another blog post? I’m still undecided.

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Writing Under the Stars: A Follow-Up iPad Review

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 11:00 pm on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

After another scorching day here in Surrey, I am enjoying the coolness of the evening on my deck…with my iPad.

Oftentimes I’ve been tempted to bring my laptop out here to write; to see if being outside changed my writing in any way. But the mere thought of unzipping tbs case, pulling out the laptop and flexible keyboard, plugging in the power cord because the battery was likely dead from non-use and waiting for Windows to load squashed any temptation! The Muse was silenced.

Using my iPad out here is way easier: turn it on, tap the WordPress app and I’m ready to go. My iPad is more of a laptop than my laptop ever was.

The one thing that would be helpful is if the finger-spreading motion increased the font size in this app. Perhaps I need to explore the settings more. Another time…the Mosquitos have discovered my sweet blood.

Good night. Sweet dreams and blessings for tomorrow.

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Writing a Post on iPad: Take One

Filed under: Blogging — by at 6:36 pm on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I’m sitting in my hotel room at Westin Alexandria in Virginia, after spending a rather hot day wheeling around Washington, DC. I had a fantastic day seeing lots in a short time! I’ll post pictures once I get home and can download them from my camera.

My iPad battery is about to die and my Internet access is about end unless I pay another $9.95 for 24 hours, so I will keep this short. I just wanted to see what it’s like to write a post on my iPad and to see what it looks like after hitting publish.

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The iPad as an Affordable Communicator: A Follow-up Review

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 1:22 am on Sunday, July 4, 2010

While I was at the mall last Tuesday, I also made a hair appointment. In the old days I would have typed a note before leaving home. Or, I would have asked Darrell to call for an appointment.

Tuesday I pulled out my iPad, typed a message in the Proloquo2Go app and showed it to the receptionist. An appointment was made for the following day.

Screen shot of the typing mode in Proloque2Go on the iPad

Continuing with my day of playing hookey, I decided to treat myself to lunch at A&W. Once again I typed out my order before scooting up to the counter. However, in the process of placing my iPad on the counter to show the employee, I must have somehow hit the “clear” or something because my order had disappeared. It reminded me of my old Etch n Sketch: shake and everything erases.

I managed to blurt out “Mama Burger”, but “root beer” was lost.

A hair appointment and a Mama Burger – two out of three ain’t bad!

Obviously I need to learn where the “clear” button is to avoid accidentally hitting it or I need to find another app for this purpose – one that doesn’t erase when shaken.

The one thing I do like about Proloque2Go for this purpose is the font size, which is fairly large for when showing someone else. But, if the message disappears in the process of showing another person, then clearly Proloquo2Go is not the right app for this particular purpose.

The next option I’ll try is the app My Writing Nook, which I purchased for a whopping $4.99 for writing on my iPad. The font size can be increased to 36 point, which may be large enough for someone else to read from a comfortable distance. Documents can be saved and quickly brought back up if needed.

Thanks to a tip from Chris Brogan, I’ve also purchased the TextExpander app for another $4.99. This app automatically expands abbreviations; for example, when I type “;gh“ (without the quotation marks), it automatically expands to “Glenda Watson Hyatt”. This is similar to the abbreviations feature in my E Z Keys software, but for a fraction of the cost.

The TextExpander app on the iPad

TextExpander works with several iPad apps, including My Writing Nook. To have it also work with Proloquo2Go would be a cool addition to the communication app.

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