I have spoken in a lot of nice rooms, so much so that I'm kind of blase about the fancy stuff available. This is also partly true because I don't use any of the buzzes and whistles. I prefer to just give a lecture without fiddling with powerpoint or other electronic gagetry. However, I spoke in a lecture hall at Temple University and at the podium they had a computer that linked to the net, so having arrived early I could check email, read blog comments and generally distract myself. Way cool.
Just before beginning I met Dr. David Mitchell who is the executive director of disability studies at Temple University. We chatted quite a bit and discovered that we had a fair bit in common. I liked him. He was there to introduce me to the morning audience of care providers, parole officers, treatment people and other such luminaries. He spoke about the university and then welcomed me and the day began.
The session went really well and lunchtime arrived before I realized it. The audience filed out and I knew in an hour a group of self advocates, who do training on abuse prevention for others with disabilities were arriving. I was going to teach my class on prevention so they could see what I did and see if there were any 'tricks' they could use in their own training. A few other staff and family were there but, let's say it was a much different group than the morning.
Just before we were to start Dr. Mitchell arrived and rolled down the ramp beside me. He asked me if there were changes he needed to make to the introduction and I described the work we were doing that afternoon. Again he did the welcome and introduction. I saw him stop at the top of the ramp on the way out to watch part of the programme.
This may seem so ordinary that a blog post need not be written about it. Well, let me assure you that it's not all that ordinary. I often do split days and I often am introduced by managers and directors (executive and otherwise) but I'm almost never introduced by the head of an organization when the audience is people with disabilities. The fact that Dr. Mitchell specifically came back to carry welcome to those with disabilities speaks well of the concept of valuing all (not some) and welcoming all (not a few). If I'm not mistaken that would be the focus of much discussion and research at Temple U's Disability Studies programme.
If I lived there, I'd enroll.