Blogging about autism

I tell people I am the only blind woman in America being paid to moderate a blog. I’m not sure that’s true, but so far no one has challenged me on that statement.

This Thursday I’m one of the presenters at a session called “It’s My Party, and I’ll Blog if I Want To.” That’s just one of many sessions being offered at this year’s Easter Seals Autism Spokesperson Network & Affiliate Marketing Partners Meeting. And then this summer I’m scheduled to do a “Blogging by Ear” session at the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) International Convention.

So now I’m adding another unsubstantiated claim to my resume: I am the only blind woman in America leading sessions encouraging others to blog.

I have Easter Seals to thank for teaching and encouraging me to learn more about computers and blogging. I became involved with this wonderful organization when I participated in the Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) grant Easter Seals received from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Interactive Marketing Group at Easter Seals Headquarters used the grant to work with Convio, a software company, to create web content management tools for people who are blind.

Easter Seals recruited blind and visually impaired interns all over the country to work with the software and learn web content management skills.

I was one of those interns. Once my 10 month TOP internship was completed, Easter Seals Headquarters hired me as the Interactive Community Coordinator. What that fancy “Interactive Community Coordinator” title means is that I’m the one moderating the Easter Seals and Autism blog — I read through blog comments on a daily basis and forward your comments to Easter Seals blog authors and information and referral staff.

I use assistive technology to do my work — a computer program called JAWS reads the text on my screen out loud. That’s how I’m able to read your comments to the blog.

If you have any questions about my role as blog moderator or our community guidelines, don’t hesitate to ask. In the meantime, keep your comments, questions and recommendations coming!


 

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