Reflections on My First National Conference

So…You’ve presented at your first national conference ever.  Your spouse, your partner, her daughter, and you have been at it for the past 4 days pretty much non-stop.  You get home about 1 AM the next morning after a long day of travel.  Your last thought, as you settle finally into your familiar pillow, is to sleep in the next day.  Right?

Not this time!

I was up at dawn the next morning (outside air

20180925_151748temp of 79 degrees, but that’s another story).  I had to write down my thoughts while I was still buzzing from an awesome and life-affirming experience as a 1st time exhibitor and presenter at Closing The Gap 2018.  With great support from mentors like Dr. Lorraine Watson, Ph.D, Dr. Jean Blosser, CCC-SLP, Ed.D, and encouragement from the Closing the Gap staff, our OiGO exhibit was a focal point for hundreds of attendees.  We definitely had the best salesperson in the hall (see above) and the best candy too.  More importantly, this experience gave Brenda and me the opportunity to meet and talk with hundreds of attendees.  Specialists in their fields, they left us even more convinced that our app will make a difference in the lives of millions who want only to be heard.

At CTG we met two remarkable attendees who reminded me what we all are about.  Cindy is an attorney in the mid-west who attended our presentation, “Taking Assistive Communications To a New Level.”  I asked about her interest, and she replied that she wanted to find something to help the kids she advocates for to express their feelings.  And here she was, devoting several days of her life just to find something to help those20180928_122057 in need.

In the same presentation we met someone closer to home–Misty, from Florida, mother of three children, two of whom with visual challenges.  And yet she is a school parent advocate at a state school for kids with special needs, at CTG looking for solutions.

These two and so many others we met others share a common bond–a bond forged by a passion to make our world a better, more welcoming, place.  I am honored and humbled to have been able to take part in a group of professionals with such passion and focus on what really matters in life–a world where all are celebrated for their unique gifts, where all can share their hopes and dreams with confidence and pride.

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