Good Morning Friends. Journey AheadStarting this year 2021 I am in process of remaking myself. I want to be a calm, cool, delighted & joyful person. I want to be contended, mediocre & offer my sincere gratitude to God for what he has given me so far in my journey. I will cease responding to rumour mongers & criticizers. I want to be with my authentic relatives & companions who appreciate, share & be part of my accomplishments & success.The sphere of friends we surround ourselves with has a tremendous bearing on the way we think, the way we feel, the way we look at others, the way we look at ourselves, our present and the future depends on this?Our tomorrow will be constructed by the people who can counsel mentor and demonstrate the correct way for us. The one who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companions of fools will bring downfall. If the people around us are not respecting us, encouraging us & motivating us to grow then we are in the wrong place, we will have to shift ourselves to a different place from where we can grow further in our respective journey. What is the point in cultivating seed in a heap of garbage!!!
Southwestern Vermont Health Care,Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) has announced the appointment of E Wilbur Rice and Stanley S Stroup to its Board of Trustees. Rice, a Bennington native living in Manchester for many years, is founder and owner of Equipe Sport & Mtn Riders, a group of four outdoor equipment and apparel stores located in Southern Vermont. Professionally, Rice has held managerial roles at Stratton Mountain and Bromley Mountain Ski Resorts. He has worked, too, on the boards of several professional and non-profit organizations both nationally and locally. Organizations include the National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association, the Adirondack Landowners Association, Northshire Day School and the Manchester and Sunderland Planning Commissions among others.“I grew up in Bennington, and the hospital was an integral part of our town. I joined the SVHC board because I believe it is an effective way to contribute to my community,” said Rice.Stroup, of Manchester, Vt, and Hilton Head, SC, is a director of H5—a San Francisco-based company that provides e-discovery, technology-assisted legal reviews and case preparation support to the legal profession—and a trustee of the Southern Vermont Arts Center.“It is important to the economic and social vitality of our region to provide locally focused, high-quality health care to our residents,” Stroup said. “I look forward to participating in the process.”Stroup is retired executive vice president and general counsel of Wells Fargo & Company since 2004. Previously, he worked as general counsel of Norwest Corporation, a financial services holding company in Minneapolis and was an adjunct professor at the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn. “I am delighted to add two members with such valuable skills and dedication to the SVHC board of trustees,” said David Meiselman, the board chair. “Both understand SVHC’s role in the community and will make important contributions.” Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is an integrated health system serving Bennington and Windham Counties in Vermont and nearby communities in New York and Massachusetts. SVHC is the parent company for Southwestern Vermont Medical Center—Vermont’s first hospital to be recognized as a Magnet for nursing excellence. SVHC also includes the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, the VNA & Hospice of SVHC, the SVHC Foundation, and the SVMC Northshire and Deerfield Valley campuses. SVMC’s multispecialty medical group is operated in partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians and provides a wide range of primary and specialty care to the region.
Last month I wrote about how I thought that accessibility would be a big topic in AV during 2020. A big reason we will hear more about this is a lawsuit that Harvard recently settled with the National Association of the Deaf. In the settlement, Harvard agreed to provide captioning for all new content placed in online resources. Additionally, the university agreed to within two years, also provide captions for all older video content. The signal this sends through higher education is that everyone is going to have to follow this lead. It stands to reason that in addition to being the law, this is undoubtedly the right thing to do. Beyond providing equal access to this content to those who are deaf, it also offers services to many other people: viewers who don’t speak English, those who may want to better understand what is being said, and those with disabilities of which we are unaware.Over the next few blogs, I will write about more than just accessibility, and write instead about a concept called Universal Design. Universal Design was developed over 20 years ago at North Carolina State University. Wikipedia defines Universal Design as “the design of buildings, products or environments to make them accessible to all people, regardless of age, disability or other factors.” According to the National Disability Authority, the concept of Universal Design has seven principles. Each of these principles can have effects on the audiovisual systems on college campuses. They are:Principle One: Equitable Use Principle Two: Flexibility in Use Principle Three: Simple and Intuitive Use Principle Four: Perceptible Information Principle Five: Tolerance for Error Principle Six: Low Physical Effort Principle Seven: Size and Space for Approach and UseLet’s take a look at the first few principles and how we can begin to think differently about AV and classroom design.Equitable Use — The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.In AV systems, this is likely the closest principle to what we would call accessible design. However, the “Equitable Use” principle takes design a step beyond the clear definitions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and opens design concepts to people of all abilities. This would include a typical accessible design. In higher education, one of the first places we would need to consider would be the podium. Is the podium accessible to people of different heights, whether they are in a wheelchair and whether they have visual or auditory impairments? How about any equipment in the podium, such as computers, playback devices, auxiliary inputs and document cameras? Are the devices located in a place that makes them useful to everyone? Is there a suitable light source around the podium? Does the control panel use font sizes and colors that are accessible? Are all of the features listed above a standard part of the space? One of the guidelines of this principle is to avoid stigmatizing or segregating users. If we don’t make these features a standard part of the room, then users of the room need to ask for special accommodations. These accommodations make it clear that they have a “disability,” and therefore, the space is stigmatizing. In a classroom, this could include all environmental controls, lighting, screens and blinds. Screens are an example of how a seemingly minor decision can have an impact on equitable use. Pull-down screens with a single rope often have the rope tangled and high-up. For people who are shorter, in a wheelchair, have challenges reaching high or standing on their tiptoes, this becomes a stigmatizing fact. Rather than being able to use the room like everyone else, they always have to ask for assistance.Flexibility in Use — The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.An example of this would be to include voice control in all spaces, along with a tactile control system. Making people aware of both systems allows a person to choose what system to use and keeps them from having to explain why they use it. Additionally, people without any difference can use the same systems, and therefore all systems become normalized. Perhaps providing remote control devices (iPad, phone, remote) would allow a person who cannot easily move to be where they are most comfortable and still control the room. In classroom design, when we think about flexibility, we also think about distance learning and blended learning. We need to consider people who may occasionally, or regularly, need to be absent from the room. Whether this is the primary instructor or a student, our spaces should be equipped with these capabilities.Simple and Intuitive Use — Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills or current concentration level.This is perhaps the principle to which AV designers are most accustomed. We spend a lot of time thinking about how people interact with our systems. I have always said that if users need to be trained on how to use a room, then the room was designed poorly. When you design a room, do you consider the wording you use to describe devices? Do you use words like devices, inputs, projectors, aux, HDMI? All of these words are technical words, and may not translate well to languages other than English. Beyond controlling specific devices, we also need to think about turning on accessible features. How difficult is it for a user to turn on captioning in a classroom? How clear, intuitive and straightforward is it for a person in a room to use a microphone? There are not a lot of canned answers to these questions. As designers, we need to be creative and thoughtful. We need to watch how people use spaces and learn how to make it easier. This principle would be served well by following the concepts of human-centered design.Perceptible Information — The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.This design principle accounts more for the room environment than the AV equipment. It is critical to the usability of the room, like any technology. The best room will make people feel comfortable, and the more comfortable they feel, the better experience they (and their students) will have. One of the things I often see in higher education rooms is lighting controls that make absolutely no sense. In the worst case, the multiple switches are unlabeled, and a user needs to guess what they do. In better circumstances, they have labels, but clearly, there was a wording limit, as the descriptions make no sense. So, are your lighting controls clearly labeled, perhaps with pictures of what they do, and with Braille? When designing spaces, we need to keep our minds on the variety of people who use the room, not just the usual users, who may get accustomed to idiosyncrasies. Is it clear to users where equipment they need access to (computers, laptop inputs, microphones) is located?I don’t propose to be an expert on Universal Design or accessibility. Additionally, I think we are often too afraid to take on this subject because we are scared of making mistakes. Yet, probably the biggest mistake we can make is not doing anything. Some progress towards Universal Design is better than ignoring it. Next time, I will cover the remaining principles and share my thoughts about how they relate to AV. In the meantime, let’s have a conversation about what you have done with AV and Universal Design.
Associated Press:They’re often pegged as the civic-minded, do-gooding generation. But while they’re still optimistic about their own personal prospects, a new study finds that today’s youth are often more skeptical of the country’s institutions than the young generations that preceded them.The Millennials also are as mistrusting of other people as the gloomy “slackers” of Generation X were 20 years ago — or even more so.Jean Twenge, lead author of the study that will be published early this month in the online edition of the journal Psychological Science, says the current atmosphere — fed by the Great Recession, mass shootings, and everything from church sex abuse scandals and racial strife to the endless parade of publicly shamed politicians, athletes and celebrities — may help explain why this young generation’s trust levels hit an all-time low in 2012, the most recent data available.In the mid-1970s, when baby boomers were coming of age, about a third of high school seniors agreed that “most people can be trusted.”Read the whole story: Associated Press
By ANEEKA SIMONIS THE MARYKNOLL teenager involved in a serious single-vehicle crash in Longwarry North has died in hospital. The…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.