[Missouri-l] ACCESSIBLE WORLD CLASSROOM OF THE AIR PRESENTS dDR. TERRI HEDGPETH, NOV. 16, 2010
freespirit52 at charter.net
Thu Nov 11 14:22:31 CST 2010
Dr.Terri Hedgpeth, Director, Disability Resource Center, Arizona State
university will give us a presentation on socializing at a party. She
outlines her presentation below for us to consider.
Working A Room: Why is it important and what are some helpful tips?
Learning to "work a room" be it at a friends party or a large function at
your work place, is an important skill to have or learn even more so today
then in the past for people who are blind or visually impaired. I say this
because more and more people who are blind are turning to social networking
sites for their social interactions and as a place to meet others. Once one
finds a site that they are able to utilize with a degree of comfort, it is
easy to slip into the comfort zone of visiting with friends where you don't
need to worry about what you are wearing, how you look, dealing with all the
disability related questions and the whole curiosity factor.
First step begins long before the day of the event arrives.
You need a "mirror." you know, one of the human variety. One you can trust.
Later, you may find someone else, or several someone elses to serve in this
capacity. But find one to help for now.
You need a human mirror that will be honest with you, and tell you things
they might not consider telling you or other friends otherwise. Offer them
lunch on you, or perhaps a Starbucks card in exchange for giving you a hand
in the following tasks.
Seriously consider having them come over and go through your clothes in your
closet, to identify garments that are soiled, dingy, worn looking or torn.
Then have them assist you with matching tops and bottoms together for
complete outfits. Don't forget your shoes in the sorting.
If you can afford to do so, get this person or another friend you can trust
on taste in clothing, to go shopping with you. Don't forget some second-hand
stores can yield some real bargains in nice quality clothing. A more
affordable option for many of us.
If you are carrying around a few extra pounds, don't make the mistake of
wearing and or buying clothes that are a little tight on you. Such clothes
make you look bigger, and no matter how nice the clothes are, if they do not
fit right, they will not be attractive on anyone. That is why it is
important to have someone you know who will be honest with you and tell you
things you may not enjoy hearing. You will have to reassure the individual
that you will not feel bad and that you need them to be honest and direct
with you about how something looks. As people who are blind, it is so easy
for us to default to the comfortable old t-shirts and deans or God forbid,
Now, I have to share with you what many people say to me at this point. "if
someone doesn't like me the way I am, then they can go find someone else to
be friends with." Or something like that.
To that I ask how do you feel about someone who has really bad breath or
B-O? Or someone who makes nonverbal noises all the time such as snorting
flehm up into their mouth; sniffling all the time; making loud smacking
noises while eating; maybe slapping their hand on their leg while they talk
to imphasize points in their speech; or so on. Can you honestly say you do
not judge these individuals who make a cacophony of noises?
If you are like most people, you do, and that is how people who are sighted
feel about people who don't dress appropriately or have other annoying
So, make sure you know what the proper attire is supposed to be for the
event you'll be attending and have your outfit ready to go ahead of time.
Don't forget your hair, whether you are a guy or gal, make sure your hair is
clean and combed or brushed into an attractive style.
If you are a gal, and want to wear lipstick or makeup, have someone check it
for you before hand. You don't want to look like a raccoon, or have lipstick
on your teeth.
I only wear lipstick and I always wipe my teeth with a tissue before I leave
the house or after reapplying lipstick.
Next, find out what you can about the room where the event will be held.
This is not critical, but you will probably feel a little more at ease if
you have an idea how many people are expected, room size, furniture
arrangement, and if you are arriving to the place by yourself, how to get
from arrival point to the door of the room.
Furniture: is there tables and chairs? Just chairs? Sofas and chairs? Stand
Now comes your big entrance into the room.
VERY VERY important! Do not allow someone to shuddle you to a chair to sit
and . well, wait for people to come to you.
Working a room is done on the move. You will likely encounter a few kind
soles that want to help you find a seat, even though no one else is really
sitting. Just say, with a smile on your face, no thank you, I am going to
rome around and see who is here. Then just do that. Walk around slowly in a
"meandering" style, and stop at clusters of people here and there and listen
to see what they are talking about. If that particular topic does not sound
interesting to you, just casually move on. If someone from a group says "do
you need any help?" Just say no thank you, just hanging out. Gage the
conversation to see if it is more public and not a private one before you
join in. You will most likely find some conversations that are closed and
not intended for others to join in. Just move along to the next cluster of
Remember, facial expression is important. If you walk up to a cluster that
are talking about weather, politics, an accident someone saw on their way to
the gathering, you probably don't want a big smile on your face. A big smile
in such situations interrupts the flow of conversation and communicates that
you are wanting something and looking for an opportunity to cut in and ask
something like "where is the hostes?" practice a neutral but friendly
expression. Find one that is somewhat natural and comfortable to you though.
Presenter: Dr. Terri hedgpeth
E-Mail: terrih at asu.edu
Hosts: Ruth Ann Acosta, Sherry wells
Date: Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Time: 6:00 PM PST, 7:00 PM MST, 8:00 PM CST, 9:00 PM EST,
and elsewhere in the world Monday 2:00 GMT.
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From: Bob Acosta [mailto:boacosta at pacbell.net]
Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2010 1:16 PM
To: Terri Hedgpeth
Subject: Re: Accessible World Presentation - Can You Meet to Discuss on
please send me a news release ASAP or we just can't move forward at this
time. I can meet you at 9 am California time on Tuesday, but without a
press release, I can't do much. Let's see what Sherry thinks here.
----- Original Message -----
From: Terri Hedgpeth
To: Sherry Wells ; Bob Acosta
Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2010 11:40 AM
Subject: RE: Accessible World Presentation - Can You Meet to Discuss on
Hello Sherry and Bob,
I would be happy to meet with both of you Tuesday. Would it be convenient
for you if we change the time to Tuesday morning at 10:00 Mountain standard
time? I believe with the time change today that would be 9:00am for Bob. I
don't know what state-city you are in Cherry. I am in Arizona and we don't
change our clocks, so now we are on Mountain time.
Looking forward to visiting with you both.
From: Sherry Wells [mailto:sdwells at us.ibm.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 06, 2010 7:03 PM
To: Terri Hedgpeth; Bob Acosta
Subject: Accessible World Presentation - Can You Meet to Discuss on Tuesday?
I work with Bob & Ruth Ann Acosta on arranging / hosting Classroom of the
Air on Accessible World. I understand you will be giving a presentation on
Working the Room on 11/16. Would you be free for a short call next Tuesday
11/9 at 2:00 PM Central Time to discuss your presentation? If not, is there
any other time on Tuesday you could meet? Please let me know what works
best for you.
To meet, we will use a conference number. Just dial the number below then
punch in the passcode when prompted. Looking forward to talking with you
and especially to hearing your presentation!
Conference #: 218-844-3388
"Bob Acosta" <boacosta at pacbell.net>
10/31/2010 12:32 PM
"Terri Hedgpeth" <terrih at asu.edu>
Re: responding to your voice mail
i shall call tomorrow at work. I will need a press release soon as we need
the time to prepare a news wire. Bob
----- Original Message -----
From: Terri Hedgpeth
To: boacosta at pacbell.net
Sent: Sunday, October 31, 2010 9:37 AM
Subject: responding to your voice mail
I was crazy busy Thursday and Friday with our VRATE conference. I am the
co-chair of the conference and so there are always little things to attend
to at the last minute.
Anyway, please feel free to give me a call today on my cell or tomorrow on
my work phone 480-727-8133
I absolutely agree it is not to early to talk about the presentation.
Robert Acosta, President
Helping Hands for the Blind
Email: boacosta at pacbell.net
Web Site: www.helpinghands4theblind.org
You can assist Helping Hands for the Blind by donating your used computers
to us. If you have a blind friend in need of a computer, please mail us at
the above address.
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