Friday, April 22, 2011

TED - Remaking my Voice - Feel Good Friday

I am hijacking Vanessa Feel Good Friday. Shhh don’t tell her.

There are so many wonderful inspirational stories out there. The one that touched me this week was from the TED conference. If you haven’t heard of TED let me start by saying WOW you have to check it out. It is a non-profit organization stands for Technology Entertainment and Design. The notion of TED is that individuals are sharing ideas worth spreading and supporting. Each story you hear is more amazing than the next.

Ted has over 700 talks that can be viewed online under Creative Commons license. This means that you can utilize these talks in presentations and classrooms as long as you provide credit to TED. There are many powerful speakers in the archives from TED that at times you are moved to tears because of the story and times you sit and cheer for what has been accomplished by one person on a mission.

Most people know the story of Robert Ebert. How he was a famous film critic. Then one day he received news that he had cancer and a new journey in life had begun. Just like the roller coasters in the amusement park so began his journey with all the twist, turns and drops that one can handle. Each one knocking the wind out of his sail but he getting back up to take flight because he wants to live a full life with the people he loves. In the end of one journey he finds that he has lost the money maker his momma had given him. The voice millions had come to know as Robert Ebert would be no more. Robert needed to take a journey that so many thousands take each year to find a way to communicate with their loved ones. It is a journey that he found some solutions that just didn't work for one reason or another.

In his TED conversation, you hear the message that yes; he has lost the voice that was his identity for so long and how he searched and searched for "his" voice. But in this powerful conversation, it is not the voice that speaks the message that conveys the message; it is the desire to make an impact with words regardless if they are spoken with voice or on the written page you see in his facial expressions, the touch of his wife’s hand that even without a voice he is speaking volumes. You see a man that loves life, wants to share life with all and has a message for others to hear. You experience the emotions of the moment and gives you pause to think "should I bank my own voice files just in case".

In Remaking my Voice, you hear the sadness and frustration that Mr. Ebert feels. This feeling is something that many AAC users feel. They feel that they are too slow and abled body listeners are too impatient. From my own brief experience, I can say this is what I learned also. Listening to Remaking my voice, you are humbled to see the journey this man has taken and you are also inspired to see that after a loss you can find your way.

Life is a journey not a destination. Enjoy each moment you have, embrace the differences you and know that you are special to everyone you meet. Have a wonderful Friday.

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