Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Celebrating Women of Distinction

Filed under: Motivation — by at 4:40 pm on Friday, June 5, 2009

Darrell Hyatt, Industrial Alliance Pacifc representative - category sponsor, Glenda Watson HyattThanks to a wonderful nomination package prepared by the SPARC BC (Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia), Darrell and I had the pleasure of attending the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards on Wednesday evening at the posh Westin Bayshore in downtown Vancouver.

Women of Distinction - Community Building nominee: Glenda Watson Hyatt In part of the 11-page nomination package, SPARC BC’s Communication Manager Lindsay Hindle wrote:

Her “go for it” personality filters down to all people, with or without disabilities. Glenda embodies technology. Not only does she lead the way in finding what new technology is out there, but she shares what she learns through her presentations, interactions with others, in her book, and on her website. Technology is such a critical aspect of her life as it has opened new doors of communication. Her blog that she maintains inspires the community by letting her readers in her daily life living with a physical disability and severe speech impairment. Through her blog, she educates people on creative opportunities of how to work through the barriers that some communities place on people with disabilities.…There is room on her site to open up discussion about these issues under a warm and welcoming environment so that barriers can be confronted and broken down, resulting in an increase of people with disabilities participating in community life.

Isn’t Lindsay marvelous with words!

Following the advice from the brilliant Liz Strauss, who is definitely a Woman of Distinction herself and who told me to “Tell your story and get out your message by talking about them…not you,” I prepared my 1-minute acceptance speech. Unfortunately I did not get to use my speech Wednesday evening; I was not the award recipient in the Community Building category. Instead, I’d like to share it with you, my community. Feel free to have a listen or a read below:

I would like to thank the Social Planning and Research Council of BC for the kind nomination and the YWCA for the honour.

I have learned three lessons about community building from all of you. First, that we all have causes we are passionate about; for me, its building an internet accessible to all. Second, when building a community centered on our passion, we have challenges to solve and goals to reach for. My challenge is getting people to understand the importance of an accessible internet. Lastly, building a community is not accomplished by one, but rather by working together and supporting each other’s strengths. Having enthusiastic supporters for web accessibility is such a blessing!

For these lessons, I thank you all.

White rose and purple orchidEarlier that afternoon, after I had boarded the Skytrain to downtown, a TransLink staff reached around from the doorway and handed me a white rosebud. I have no idea why. Something in that moment moved him to do so. Although being an award recipient would have been quite an honour, sometimes its the small recognitions that are most meaningful.

Smile! You never know when a stranger may hand you a rose for being who you are.

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