Checking In

Call off the search parties! I’m here, I’m here. Yes I missed my last two Friday/early morning Saturday posts.  To partially compensate for my absence please entertain this sporadic Wednesday one. In fairness to me I did start two drafts but I found them uninspiring. You, my readers, deserve my best and not simply words released on a regularly scheduled basis.

TMR Logo

I’m working on some interesting articles for The Mobility Resource.

Anyways over the past two weeks I kept busy. Monday and Friday last week (May 20th and May 24th) I conducted interviews for The Mobility Resource (TMR). First I interviewed prolific disability advocate Anita Cameron, who TMR initially profiled back in December during the Top 25 Mobility Movers and Shakers series. Friday I talked to Vanderbilt University professor Michael Goldfarb, the birth brain behind the wearable robot (exoskeleton) Indego. Both discussions remain in the transcribing process. Within the next week-and-a-half the articles should go live at The Mobility Resource website.

On another note, I’m refocusing on my Off Balanced marketing efforts. The response from readers so far provides me such pride and reconfirms my original mission to convince others with cerebral palsy to positively embrace the disability. Yet the influence Off Balanced possesses additionally extends to family members, friends, and classmates. I know I targeted my latest guest blog post towards parents, “Exploring the Parent-Child Dynamic within the IEP Team” published at Think Inclusive Thursday, May 9th.

Returning to my main point though I’m refocusing my Off Balanced marketing efforts because I believe in my book and I want to maximize my readership. To discover new opportunities to promote my teen memoir I picked up Marketing Your Book on a Budget by Kathryn Elizabeth Jones. Right now I’m working towards lining up new guest posts, hopefully some more book reviews, podcast or radio appearances, whatever I can arrange.

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Why isn’t There a Disability Channel on Television?

Earlier this week fellow author John W. Quinn (Someone Like Me: An Unlikely Story of Challenge and Triumph Over Cerebral Palsy) proposed an interesting question during his weekly video blog. Why isn’t there a disability channel on television? He notes such a channel could help raise disability awareness. Now rather than relying on me to recount Quinn’s points, perhaps you should watch the video blog post.

Personally I prefer to see an entertainment company dedicated to disability programming versus an actual disability channel. The latter I feel risks segregation. Certainly people with disabilities and those closest to them will tune into a disability channel. Yet does this really work to spread disability awareness? After all, most likely these individuals already maintain knowledge about handicaps.

Instead I suggest an entertainment company dedicated to increasing disability awareness through an inclusive programming approach, distributing shows to already existing channels. Travel Channel’s Armed & Ready offers a model. People interested in travel will tune into the show. When they see Kevin Michael Connolly embarking on his many adventures despite having no legs, they will hopefully rethink what living with a disability means.

So imagine a group of individuals focused on taking the Armed & Ready strategy to new heights. Maybe the organization could find a chef who uses a wheelchair and pitch a cooking show to the Cooking Channel featuring said chef. Or, the group seeks stories involving athletes with disabilities. Record different documentaries on these athletes and pitch them to ESPN or other appropriate sporting networks.

Basically by appealing to a common trait or interest between people with disabilities and their able-bodied counterparts, disability awareness improves in effectiveness. Such a strategy I bet could reach more people than a segregated disability channel buried amongst many other cable channels. What do you think? Sound off with a comment below!

Tracking New Year Resolutions: April ’13 Recap

Yes, I’m still going strong tracking my 2013 New Year resolutions. Hopefully you can say the same. If not, perhaps my continued monthly recaps may inspire you to re-energize and revisit your own resolutions.

Resolution #1- Utilize My Youtube Channel Via Vlogging
Specific Goal- Vlog Twice a Month
Accomplished? YES

In April I did something a little different with my second Youtube video. Rather than a straight up vlog, I tapped into my creativity. The result features my fan take on the Cleveland Indians’ 2013 “This is a Tribe Town” campaign. Those unfamiliar with the ad series, the Indians created radio and television commercials starring Tribe manager Terry Francona, first baseman Nick Swisher, and radio broadcaster Tom Hamilton. Each individual shares his connection to the city and explains why Cleveland is a “Tribe Town.”

Resolution #2- Post Here on a Weekly Basis
Specific Goal- Post every Friday
Accomplished? YES

While I didn’t necessarily meet my Friday deadline every week, I succeeded at posting once a week. Additionally I posted an extra time, compensating for my last missed February blog post. Moving forward through 2013 I will increase my efforts to ensure a regular weekly Friday/early Saturday posting schedule.

Resolution #3- Keep to Due Dates
Specific Goal- Don’t Receive Any Inquiries About ETAs
Accomplished? NO

Yeah, so this remains a problematic issue for me. Admittedly I do okay when given a set deadline. The trouble occurs with less restrictive due dates. I know where I’m failing but yet I’m slacking off in implementing actions to resolve the situation. Maybe the recent change in my age (I’m an April birthday boy :)) will offer a solid enough mental push to finally motivate me to establish a better sleep and work schedule. Currently both prove chaotic, making time management challenging.