Something was wrong. I was sitting up on a stage getting ready to give a lecture to staff and other care providers on self esteem. But instead the audience was at least 50% comprised of self advocates. I called up Dorothy Doyle my contact with Summer Street Industries and asked for clarification. She asked if I could do an adapted lecture that would meet the needs of both staff and those with disabilities.
Now I do workshops for care providers. I do workshops for people with disabilities. I have never attempted a joint day, the audience needs and perspectives are quite divergent. I gulped and quickly explained to Dorothy how that just wasn't possible. Not for me, not with my skills, not with 5 minutes to consider and to prepare.
Well, after the introduction happened and I was on, I figured - what's the worst that could happen, we are beyond the days of public stoning. And and I went for it, quickly in my mind scanning for stories that could be told in one way for staff and then turned into roll plays for the self advocates. I knew that I'd have to have to really use my voice in order to capture the intent and the meaning of the stories to help understanding, I'd have to rely on the good humour and the good will of those there.
I had a great day. In a few weeks I am going to be doing the keynote at the 'Both Sides Now' conference in Toronto. I had been thinking about how to do a integrated keynote that managed to capture the learning styles of a vastly diverse group of people. That conference is for both people with disabilities and for their care providers. I had been panicking about what to do and how to do it.
Not any more ...
I'm pumped, really really pumped ... I had a brilliant time, I found creative ways to work two audiences, two sets of needs in a seamless fashion. Sorry for going on and on ... but I learned something new about me, as a presenter, and about educating people ... not staff, not self advocates, people.
And I'm Jazzed.
For those coming on June 2nd ... hold on to your hats, do I have a show for you!
For information on the Both Sides Now conference visit www.vitacls.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.