Business logic vs. emotions

Walmart, like many big stores, have had greeters at their doors for quite a while and this job is pretty ideal for some people with disabilities. It’s typically not physically demanding which is important for some with physical disabilities. Walmart has decided to add to the duties and wage of this position. Actually they started this transition about two years ago but of course, like most things, it hasn’t been a story until someone makes it one. It always makes me wonder how big of an issue it is if it has taken that long to surface, but I digress. Some of these new duties include tasks that can be difficult for people with disabilities and this is where the shaming of Walmart begins.

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I use to view dependency on other people as a weakness and being independent as a strength, something for which to strive. While I still believe being as independent as possible is absolutely something to strive for, since independence pretty much always leads to freedom, my pastor gave a sermon a while ago that altered my point of view on being dependent upon others. He basically said that God made people dependent on other people and as such, being dependent on others is not a weakness. Continue reading

Where do you stand?

In April, Facebook held their annual developer conference where they spoke about their development of a technology that will allow a human brain to control a computer in order to type. The presentation was geared toward helping people with disabilities who can’t speak under their own power. The news of such technology is probably not new to you, whether it be something from science fiction or something you’ve seen actual stories on. I have been giving speeches to college classes on communication devices for a number of years now and for the past three years, I will usually get one person asking me what I think about having a computer know what I want to say just by me thinking it. So the awareness of this technology is nothing new but when Facebook talks and has a presentation on it, people tend to take notice.

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A Matter of Respect

This past week I was presented with an interesting situation that I think might be a good teaching moment. Unfortunately this definitely was not a unique situation as I have encountered this pretty regularly through out my life. However, this time it was with someone who should know better due to their occupation. As you probably already know, I have cerebral palsy which makes me unable to walk and makes my speech hard to understand. Both of these inabilities I am perfectly fine with, they don’t bother me one bit. You can ask me to repeat myself a hundred times and I will do so or resort to using my communication device without a thought of annoyance. I know I have a speech impairment and by definition, I am difficult to understand. Continue reading

Speechless, the show

The people at ABC and/or the people from the television show Speechless asked a number of people around the country to host “watch parties” during the Oscar-themed episode this past Wednesday and then write a blog post about the episode. If you have never seen the show, in a nutshell it is about a family with three kids and the oldest has cerebral palsy who is wheelchair bound and is nonverbal. Many of the episodes are about the challenges that JJ, the kid with CP, faces both in high school and in home life. The producers have done a nice job of not completely focusing on the disability aspects and allows for other typical family-like drama to take stage so that it attracts a more diverse audience. This is a relief because in my experience, most shows or movies that are about disabilities are all about disabilities which gets old, even to me who has CP. Continue reading

Grocery Store A vs. Grocery Store B

The question of whether to go to Grocery Store A or Grocery Store B is usually a decision based factors such as variety, prices and convenience. Personally, most of the time, I like going to Grocery Store A because they have much bigger selection and a couple of items that the other grocery store doesn’t carry. Even though Grocery Store A is little out of the way and it’s much harder to leave without buying things I didn’t particularly go for, not to mention getting what I actually went there to get, I like going there anyway most of the time. However, within the last year or so, there has been a deterrent for me going there.

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New ways mean new teaching

The past few months we have been discussing the benefits of automation with custom programming either on websites or a program that is for in-office use. We have seen how these benefits have been helpful to the employees’ of the company and to the customer. This week we are going to take a step back from the world of technical automation and look at how we can leverage it for educational benefits.

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The inadvertent benefits

In the previous edition we discussed how a custom solution helped to get information out to people in a more effective manner. What I didn’t tell you was that when I was approached to develop that solution, it was intended solely with the idea of improving the method of delivery. However, as you read, it not only did that but it also saved employees’ time and eased their job responsibilities almost accidentally, or inherently. I tell you this now because in this edition, we are going to look at a situation where I was approached to develop a solution with the intent to save the employee time and effort. While this goal was accomplished, it also provided a better delivery method and a better experience for the customer.

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Help one, help many!

Hello everyone and welcome to the third edition of Brad’s Helpful Tricks and Tips! In the last issue we discussed a company, Dynamic Pathways, who specializes in training employees who take care of people with disabilities. These are trainings such as CPR, First Aid, medication administration, and more. These trainings are taught by certified instructors and are done so pretty frequently as people come into and leave the field of work. Due to this relatively high demand for these types of trainings, Dynamic Pathways came to me to develop a way for people to register and pay for these trainings through their website. This was needed in order to alleviate a lot of the work load that was put on the secretary from having to manually register people. By doing this, with the goal of alleviating the secretary’s work load, it also greatly improved their customers’ experience.

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Automatic is key

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first edition of my new bi-weekly newsletter where in each edition I will be explaining ways you can get the most out of technology. For the most part, it will pertain to websites but every now and then we will discuss how custom computer programs can benefit you. Some of these solutions may not pertain to you and some may. The purpose of these newsletters is to get you aware of what is possible and maybe trigger an idea that I can help you with to get your business or organization operating more efficient. If you know anyone who might be interested in an idea I discuss in an issue, or you think they may be interested in receiving the bi-weekly newsletter, feel free to share it with them.

Without further ado, let’s begin!
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