Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

The iPad: My Ticket to SXSW!

Filed under: Blog Accessibility,Traveling with a Disability,Work — by at 4:16 pm on Monday, November 8, 2010

SXSW: South by SouthWest Music & Film, Interactive

Thank you to everyone who supported my proposal to South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference!

Breaking News…

I am off to Austin, Texas, in March 2011! Yes!

This morning the second round of 2000 SXSW sessions was announced. My presentation title The untapped iPad Market: Is Your Site POUR? is on the list!

Presentation Description

For the masses, the iPad is the latest, hottest, must-have toy. But, for people with disabilities the iPad is life changing: enabling communication, unlocking minds and fostering independence. However in purchasing these devices lays the challenge: oftentimes websites with product information are inaccessible to this market, which has a discretionary spending power of $175 billion in the United States alone.

The session’s goals are to identify some barriers people with disabilities regularly face, making it difficult to participate fully online; explain the four guiding principles of what makes blogs and websites accessible; and offer key questions to begin asking and what resources exist to make sites more accessible to this under tapped market. By giving short vignettes of how people with disabilities are using iPads, faces are put to the size of this disability market – and putting faces to the need for web accessibility. This brings alive the technical requirements and guiding principles of web accessibility.

Questions Answered
  1. How is the iPad life-changing for many people with disabilities?
  2. What is the size of the disability market and its spending power?
  3. What are the barriers people with disabilities face online?
  4. What are the four guiding principles to creating accessible websites and blogs?
  5. Where do I start in making my website or blog accessible?

Now the work begins…

Thanks again everyone for your support! I am truly blessed.

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

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Highlights from my DC Solo Tour

Filed under: Traveling with a Disability — by at 3:04 pm on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wednesday, July 28th: Following a good night’s sleep after traveling from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Alexandria, Virginia, via Dallas, Texas (a route which still doesn’t make sense to me) and armed with my printed Google map, I headed out to explore Washington, DC.

Brick buildingsFinding my way from the Westin Alexandria to the MetroTrain station, I felt an affinity with the building with the initials “GW”. I felt greatness occurred within those red brick walls!

View from the King Street station platformTaking the MetroTrain into DC was very easy; like taking our SkyTrain. Everything I encountered along the train trip was adequately accessible. And it was only six stops – a short half hour – to the starting point of my solo DC tour.

Waiting on the train platform, I was take by all of the red brick. The view awestruck this one from the west coast!

Not until I was on the train and it stopped at the Pentagon Station did I realize I was so close to the Pentagon. Had that realization struck sooner, I may have planned to include a quick stop there too.

Canadian Embassy entrance with a poster with Olympic colours in the windowWalking along Constitution Avenue, I was drawn to a poster with familiar colours – the colours of Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. It was comforting seeing a piece of home while being so far away. I later realized it was the Canadian Embassy.

The Capitol BuildingComing to Capitol Hill, I was a little surprised to find only stairs flanking both side of the Spring Grotto Park. A security  person said I could cut along the grass, which I did and shot this photo of the Capitol Building. I then found my way around the entire building, taking more photos.

The bronze plaque for the United States Botanic Garden ConservatoryNeeding a break from the heat, I popped into the United States Botanic Garden Conservatory for a quick wheel through.

With so many museums and attractions in DC, I wondered if the First Family is able to get out to experience it without a major process being required.

Smithsonian Institution - Arts & Industries BuildingFinding a shady spot near the carousel across from the Smithsonian Institution – Arts & Industries Building, I drank a bottle of pop, which a stranger kindly open for me. (Cans are so much easier for me for two reasons: to open and my straws are long enough. Minor details but the difference between quenching a thirst or not on a hot day!)

Intrigued by the red brick castle-looking building, I went in. The air-conditioning was a welcomed yet brief refuge from the afternoon’s scorching heat. (Does anyone know if the building was once a church?)

The Washington MonumentContinuing along, the next point of interest was the iconic Washington Monument. After seeing it countless times on television and in movies, seeing it close-up was amazing. I hadn’t realize one could take a tour inside.

(The sun was so bright that my camera’s LCD screen was now black. I couldn’t see what I was taking photos of, and, hence, this photo isn’t straight. Is there a remedy for the black screen on bright days?)

The White House and fountainMy final yet most awaited point of interest was the White House, of course! I was confused by my Google Map because it showed what I thought was the White House as the National Security Council and the White House was behind trees, out of sight. I later learned that the building was, indeed, the White House! And, not to believe everything on Google Maps!

Peering through the fence, I couldn’t help wonder who was being watched more: the people on the inside or those of us on the outside. Security was everywhere!

I then rushed back to the American History Museum for 4pm to meet the wheelchair taxi that the conference organizer kindly arranged for me.

This map shows the route I took in 4 hours – I saw lots in DC in very short time:

My DC tour route

Many more photos on my Flickr photostream!

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

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