Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Jet Planes, Universal Design, Love and Forgiveness: Connected…Somehow

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 3:04 pm on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bags are packed and two presentations are about to be loaded onto my laptop, assuming I can resist this compelling urge to rewrite the rote-feeling introduction. Tomorrow I am off to San Jose to present to a group of web engineers at a large financial institution, and then at Open Web Camp IV on Saturday. I’m definitely getting my geek on this weekend!

I am then home for less than two weeks before heading out for my Philadelphia-Pittsburgh adventure. Climbing the “Rocky” steps in the midst of a heat wave: who’s brilliant idea was this?

In those few days in between trips, I am not only unpacking, washing clothes, re-packing, and getting re-organized; I am also getting my home office and adjacent living space ready for a film crew. Yep, a film crew!

The Fetzer Institute is producing a short (5-minute) documentary on web accessibility, which will be shown at their Global Gathering For Love and Forgiveness in Assisi, Italy in September, then subsequently made available on their website, YouTube, etc. Their production crew for the film has impressive credentials. The script writer in particular has done work for Frontline, MacNeil/Lehrer, NOVA, and others.

I am one of their interviewees. How I get myself into these things, I know not. Smile

Thankfully I have already received interview questions and I will prepare my responses in text-to-speech, likely to be played on my iPad during the video interview. But one question requires some deep, reflective thought, which I haven’t had a chance to do, yet. I pose the question to you, my wise and insightful readers; consider this crowdsource thinking…

The Fetzer Institute’s work focuses on realizing and cultivating the power of love and forgiveness in people’s lives. Do you feel there is a connection between universal design, love, forgiveness?

Discuss in the comment section below while I go triple check that I have my passport, iPad charger, and…

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

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Comment by MissDazey

July 11, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

Glad you have to answer that question and not me.

Comment by Dr. Michelle Harrison

July 11, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

Universal design, love, and forgiveness are all states of acceptance, of one’s self and of others.

Comment by Wendy

July 11, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

Question: Do you feel there is a connection between universal design, love, forgiveness?

My answer: YES! I believe that we are designed by a God who created everything around us. This God loves us unconditionally and asks that we do the same for those around us. He has forgiven us and we should forgive those who wrong us. As humans the love part may come much easier than the forgiveness part.

Comment by Wendy

July 11, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

Also wanted to say – “have a FANTASTIC trip!”
Travel safely and enjoy your adventure.

Comment by Maggie

July 11, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

Love, forgiveness, and universal design. Accessibility, accountability, respect. They all go together.


I love my brother, so I invite him to visit. He arrives with his new partner, but she can’t get in the door without help because my house has six steps to the front door, three steps to the back door, and no ramp. “No problem,” I say, marshalling plenty of brawn to carry her in her chair. But I can see she’s not happy. After awhile I understand why not.

By the time of their next visit we’ve built a ramp onto the side door, connecting around the garage to the driveway. It’s not the front door, quite, but it’s also not the ‘service entrance’. My now sister-in-law forgives me, and so does my brother.

If the house had been built with universal design to begin with, none of this emotional discomfort would have occurred.

Our congregation prides itself on its “diversity”, but does nothing about those with hearing limitations, even though a hearing-aid loop would cost nearly nothing. We pretend we’re “almost” wheelchair-accessible because we have ADA-compliant bathrooms and have removed the threshholds from our interior doors, allowing free passage throughout the first floor. There’s also free wheelchair passage throughout the lower classroom floor, but to get between them you have to wheel back outside, transfer to the car, drive around to the lower parking lot, and transfer back to the chair. Love and forgiveness will only come with universal design, but it’s an old building and the congregation doesn’t have much money.

I could go on. But you already know more than I do about this sort of situation.

Wishing you safe travel and delightful presentations!

Comment by Dennis Fletcher

July 11, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

Good luck in Philly!!!
Can’t get there until Sunday – I truly wish I could be part of the event. Please do what Rocky did not – when you get to the top, continue on into the museum – it’s a great experience.

I will visit on Sunday and ask people if they were there the day before when the courageous and inspiring GWH climbed the steps – pity those (like me) that were not!



Comment by Glenda

July 17, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

My draft response: I feel there is definitely a connection between universal design, love, and forgiveness. All three are a conscious choice: we can choose to love, to forgive, and to design for everyone in our community. With this choice comes acceptance and respect, of one’s self and of others.


Although I would really like to use Dr. Harrisn’s words from above. Her words are so succinct and bang on.

Comment by Dr. Michelle Harrison

July 17, 2012 @ 11:23 pm

Glenda, you may use my words any time,. No attribution required. I’d feel honored. And Ganga, my little one with CP, who loves to watch you on You Tube would be especially happy.

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