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Thursday, September 22, 2016

ALDAcon 2016 Day Two

This is the second installment of my experiences this past week at the national convention for the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA) held in Brookfield, Wisconsin. I was involved in this event as the Newcomers Chair and as a workshop presenter.

Photo by Ken Arcia

On Friday morning, I attended a workshop about the forthcoming ALDA national website. I was interested in the subject because I am the webmaster at my library job and for the ALDA Chicago chapter's site:

The new ALDA Inc. website will use WordPress and provide a landing page for each local chapter that wants one. In the picture above you can see a hero banner layout that allows an image or video to fill the background of a section with text in the foreground. This design feature was new to me.

A major goal of the upgrade is to change from a text heavy site to one that is more visually appealing, has clearer calls to action and is a breeze to navigate. Brian Patrick Jensen (seated in the photo) is leading the project and he said he would allow me access to the test site so I can provide him feedback. I'm looking forward to that.

Later at the Appreciation Luncheon, I was thrilled when my friend Kim Mettache won the Fearless Leader Award. Kim was the first person I met through ALDA. Back in 2008, I walked into her Northwest Indiana chapter meeting and knew I was where I belonged. Congratulations, Kim!

Other awards announced were Angel to Ken Arcia; Able ALDAn to Carolyn Piper; Brainstorm to Joe Duarte, Innocaption; and President's Appreciation to John Waldo.

Photo by Ken Arcia

In the afternoon, Tess Crowder taught us how to be happy through SCHLUVITTT. Her acronym taught to us through repetition is
  • S - say something nice
  • C - compare 
  • H - health
  • L - laugh
  • U - understand
  • V - volunteer
  • I - inner child
  • T - train your brain
  • T - try something new
  • T - thanks
Tess is an amazing speaker, full of energy, and someone who likes to have fun in life. She is now hosting a weekly captioned radio show called Tess Talk on Saturday mornings. You can learn more on her website.

On Friday evening, we had an opportunity to dress up for a banquet. Prior to the start of the meal, all of the folks from ALDA Chicago gathered for a group photo. According to Ken, there were 27 of us. I'd say we were a presence at the convention. 

Photo by Ken Arcia

Here is a photo taken back inside the hotel. I am standing with two other board members for ALDA Chicago - Tom Garvey, treasurer and Marsha Swetin, secretary. 

After our dinner of salmon or prime rib, I went upstairs to chill and review my speaker notes for my presentation the next morning. It felt good just to relax with my roommate Michelle Donnelly, who is also on the ALDA Chicago board. Here's a photo of the two of us at the Thursday luncheon. It was amazing getting to know her better and was one of the best parts of my convention experience.

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