Awesome Meets Reality

I had an amazing week on so many levels.

I was a roving photographer at Kerry Gibson’s fabulous Elevate and Celebrate event to raise funds to make elegant and historic Hycroft accessible to everyone.

Then, an unbelievable experience at my first SVI Women in Vancouver conference that brought together an incredible group of smart, talented, passionate and generous entrepreneurs for two and a half days. I was fortunate to gain admission as a volunteer photographer – and I poured my heart into producing a collection of photos that captured the intensity, joy and energy of the event through the eye of the lens. You can view all of the photos on my Flickr site. I’m pretty proud of them.

And, over this past week alone, my Flickr views have skyrocketed – up to an incredible (at least to me!) 28,300 views to almost 170,000 views! I know it’s probably not much of a leap to some, but that growth spurt means the world to me.

It’s given me a huge confidence boost at a point where I really, really need one.

It’s validated my belief that I can and do contribute to the success of an event by documenting it in my unique way.

I’m also hoping that it’s been an #EyeOpener for the people who’ve seen my photos.

Because I need more than an awesome week.

I need paid work. Badly. As much as I’ve loved all of these amazing experiences, and the people I’ve met along the way, real life and the need to make money can bugger up all the awesomeness.

So I’m putting it out there again.

If you or anyone you know needs a photographer, PR gal, writer, editor, community builder, accessibility consultant, public speaker, cat sitter, envelope licker or pretty well anything that doesn’t involve driving cars, waiting tables, or 20/20 vision – please feel free to contact me.

I have a hell of a lot to offer. Let me open your eyes.

 

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I’m Ready for BlogWorld – but Is It Ready for Me?


In a few short days I’m headed for Los Angeles and my first-ever BlogWorld and New Media Expo conference. I’m beyond excited…so much to see and do, so many people to meet, and reconnect with again.

But is BlogWorld ready for this legally blind attendee? Or seniors or anyone with physical challenges? Large conferences can be daunting for people with sight, hearing or motor impairments, so I’ll be sharing my experiences and offering my perspective over the course of the three-day event. I hope my observation are helpful to all conference organizers out there.

Here are some of the things I’ll be paying close attention to, based on what’s important to me.

Signage – Are all signs large enough to be seen? Are there enough of them? Can the content of these signs be read easily? Are meeting rooms easy to find and identify?

Stairs and Glass Doors – Are stairs and glass doors clearly marked? I’ve tumbled down more than a few stairs and run into several glass doors in my time:-(

Lighting – Is there adequate light in all meeting rooms and corridors?

Audio – Are the sound systems adequate, with no muddiness or distortion?

Power Outlets – (One of my pet peeves) Are outlets easily identified? Are there enough of them? Are some outlets at mid-wall height and not all at floor level? And are power cords out of the way and not trip hazards?

Elevators and Ramps – Are all meeting rooms accessible via ramps and elevators?

Assistance – Are conference staff and volunteers trained and prepared to help disabled people if required?

Many of you may read this and this that my wish list is unnecessary – of course this is a no-brainer. And in a perfect world, I wouldn’t even have to mention anything. But it’s not a perfect world, and we still encounter more obstacles than you may imagine. So I may vent a bit. But I’ll also applaud, loudly, whenever I can.

If you face some challenges and are planning to attend BlogWorld, or if you have an experience or suggestion to share, please comment below, or contact me. I’d love to hear from you!

Turning the Page

Hi everyone.

It’s been a long time – more than a year, in fact. Many of you already know the reasons for my silence – much of it centred around the illness and death of my husband Dave Kane. It’s actually a year to the day that he was rushed to the hospital and both our lives were forever changed. I plan to talk about this in more detail. It’s something I need to do. But not today. Today I just want to say Hi, and I’ve missed you. And I am working on moving forward.

It’s partly today’s sad anniversary, partly my own journey, but I feel it’s time for me to turn the page, and start over with a new and more focused blog. My platform,. My soapbox. My photo gallery.

So, I’m happy to introduce Seeing Things. A work in progress, for sure. But I have a new name that plays not only on my point of view but how I literally view the world as a visually impaired person. I haven’t necessarily broadcast the fact much over the years, but now that I am ‘older’, I realize that my unique approach to my profession, my experiences – and lately, my photography – might be able to inform, help and maybe even inspire. So, I’m going for it – beginning with a new theme and a photo I took that, intentionally or not, captures the essence of me in a way that left me speechless and a bit giddy. I have to say, I love it. And I’m proud of it.

What can you expect from me? Well, it will be a bit of a slow process, but I hope to focus on the things that matter to me – capturing my world in pictures, talking about photography, PR, social media, accessibility issues and tools that may help anyone who is challenged in some way. And maybe an occasional rant for good measure. I hope you like it, and stick with me as I ramp up.

Thank you to the brilliant Lorraine Murphy, aka Raincoaster, who helped me pry what’s been in my head for months onto the page at long last. It felt so awesome to actually see what I imagined become real. And thank you to the countless friends, family and people I’ve never met all over the world who’ve delivered hugs, prayers, words of encouragement, jokes and support in person and otherwise. I love you all.

About to take a running jump. I’ll see how high I fly.

 

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