DMC Gala 2006

23 10 2006

My daughter and I went 24th Annual Dallas Mayor’s Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities Gala as part of fundraising (for scholarship) last weekend. We had good times and enjoyed listen to testimonies from other people during the presentation. I’ve been to DMC Gala like 10 times total in the past.

All I want to say they all deserve the recognition and feel good about it. They will cherish it forever like I did when I got award in 1998 or 1999. Few deaf people received the awards in the past.

I especially enjoyed Richard E. Marriott’s testimony. He explained how his family started Marriott business many years ago. He kept saying – take care of your people (employee) like a family member including provide their needs (disabilities) and they will become loyal to their family business.

He also mentioned about his charity project called Bridges from School to Work program. He said they have 7 programs nationwide including one in Dallas. This program focuses on helping people with disabilities into training and gets them to find job into corporate world. It sounds very positive.

There’s a lot more in it but you get the picture. Contact your Mayor’s Committee in your area to see if you or your company can be part of it.

To read DMC 2006 program book: click here.

Jack Evans Citizenship Award
Richard E. Marriott
Chairman, Host Hotels & Resorts

Corporate Best Practices Award
Alliance Data Systems
Accepting the award is John Clyne, Director of Facilities

Accepting the award is Jeff Bankston, Divisional Vice President

Innovator of the Year
Pepsico, Enable Network
Accepting the Award is Kimberly Ayers, Research & Development Packaging Project Engineer, Frito Lay

DMC Star Awards
Anthony Montgomery
Toby Haferman Jr.
Roy Billups Jr.

Scholarship Recipents
Christine Michelle Fagan
Stanley J. Ascher

Stars of Texas Salute 2006 Sponsors

J.C. Penney Company, Inc.

Brinker International

American Airlines
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Corporate Express
Marriott Foundation
Xspedius Communications

Adams Mark Hotel – Dallas
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Alliance Data
Baylor HealthCare Foundation
Business Access
Countrywide Financial Services
Mary Kay International
Pepsico Inc.
Southwesdt Airlines
Special Care & Career Services
Texas Instruments
Tom Thumb
Whataburger Inc.

To view this video from my server: click here (approx 150mb)

Note: I am not part of DMC team in any way, I simply want to share it with everyone. For more information, pease contact them directly. Thanks!


What do we need to improve our relay service?

16 10 2006

Not too long ago, I talked with a friend thru instant messaging system. We discussed about what we can do to improve our relay service.

I am sure there’s plenty to discuss however I think standard and interoperability is two of the biggest headache right now. I understand that it is all about business to them and as well as struggle with FCC policymaker.

Let’s look at myself as example –

Relay Service Number: I have My IP-Relay phone number primarily for AIM relay service online (text) and Sprint/CSD 800 phone number for my video relay service whenever they need to call me.

Vonage: I recently moved our home phone number from Comcast (non-voip) to Vonage (voip) and we are pleased with it. I am happy that we get to keep existing phone number. Even my wife and I never use it but we need it for our hearing children, emergency and Replay TV device.

eFax: I do have eFax for personal and business purpose. We don’t use it much but we do need it from time to time. It has phone number.

Mobile: I am stuck with two years contract with Verizon Wireless for my PocketPC XV-6700 device – it has phone number. I am not complaining but I am ready to get out of it once contract expire next year. I really want to go back to Sidekick 2 and possibly EVDO card for my laptop. I also have Blackberry device for my job.

Family: My wife and my two children have their own mobile device.

Ugh. You get the picture. I really want to have one phone number for entirely household such as sign mail, callback, answer service, priority service, and those entire bells & whistle features. It’s probably make sense to have one number for each person and all children should be part of it somehow.

Is it possible? Yes, it probably will take time to make possible. Deaf community is not alone, in general could take advantage of it and benefit us all same time. Also, it should be definitely manage by 3rd party service – not by one of the relay service vendors.

We should never use IP number at all. Hopefully it will change over times where we can use same number (10 digits number) at anytime. I know NAD and other organizations already mentioned it to FCC. We will see what happened soon.

I believe in competitions. What does it has to do with relay services? We need more than just VP-200 devices! All companies like Logitech, D-Link, Linksys, etc. should jump this huge opportunity and offers to everyone whether it is for deaf consumer or in general.

Of course, it has to be standard at all types of devices like you would be able to dial 10 digits number from or to webcam-type with computer or thru standalone device. That’s mean all software should offers you to dial number to call standalone device such as VP-200.

It’s going be very exciting and it will happen soon! I hope so!