In early October I began delivering sessions to Vision Australia staff in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane on how to work with shared documents in Microsoft SharePoint (uploading, checking in, co-authoring etc) and last week I finished the task. Over 6 weeks l I delivered 84 sessions to many hundreds of users. I have to say I was initially worried about the size of project, but once I got into it and started having fun with it the reptition became a challenge. Having such lovely users also helped and I was particularly stretched by delivering some sessions to people who low vision who used a product called Zoom Text. In these sessions there was no overhead and I had to be most creative and particularly clear in describing where to find things and and what clues to look for. For example, many of the low vision users are also colour blind, so as I discovered there was no point to saying things like ‘the small green arrow’ and sing Zoom Text means they are only focusing on one small aspect of the screen and may never view a window in its entirety.
One of the highlights for me, was having the guide dogs (doggie learners themselves or the PR dogs), coming into a class with their trainers. They bring a whole different energy and it always made my day when one arrived. I am big on the energy of a room, so I am always there early to warm it up; which for me means burning aromatherapy oils (Lemongrass or orange to pep things up followed by some Lavender or Sandalwood to create bottom notes of calm were my choices for this particular project). Plus I made a playlist on my iPod and bring it and speakers in. I chose some Phillipa Giordano and Cecilia Bartoli for the classical and Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Dusty Springfield for the jazz component. I am actually a big fan of the album called The Abbey by the Benedictine Nuns of Jamberoo and when I was playing Ave Verum Corpus one lady walked in the room for the course and came straight up to me and hugged for having this playing. As I say, people in this organisation were a delight to work with. Some photos of the dogs (naturally 🙂 ), follow: