Orlando, Florida actually for a Assistive Tech Conference which brought together companies from around the world to discuss and show off all forms of assistive technology for special needs and disabilities.
I took this at the hotel next to mine - on a rare walk around the grounds. I'm told that practically all waterways have 'gators and they are happy enough to leave us alone if we leave them alone. Apparently walking a small dog will get their attention. Which is okay as long as you can run faster than your small dog I guess....
Here I am being a girly swot in the front row of my friend Barbara's presentation at 8 am on Saturday morning. (can you imagine an Irish trade show starting at 8am?!)
Barbara has her own App company called Smarty Ears, and as a professional speech therapist almost all of her Apps hit the spot for us; both for articulation but also for language therapy. They also have built in recording and data can be shared via email. I really like them and wish that there was a way to get therapists over here to get confident using them.
I was in the same room the day before presenting my workshop "My iPad Belongs to Me" (click on the highlighted link to download my notes) using Grace App to about 30 people. Nothing blew up and I got good feedback on the evaluation forms that are helpfully left in the room when it empties (with a bit of planning I could have switched them with a bundle of my own like Michelle Pfieffer in Hairspray - but they were good enough so I let them be)
It was a huge undertaking to get my paper accepted, get myself organised to get there and I am very grateful for the opportunity. The trip was funded by the Social Entrepreneurs Elevator Program and I was professionally mentored (by Rowan Manahan) in presentation as part of the Create Ireland start-ups support package.
I learned a heck of a lot about the Assistive Tech Industry in America, made some great contacts and now understand a bit more about how special education is valued outside of Ireland *coughs* (it is a specialist job requiring EXTRA training)
And yes, the weather was a lovely change from a damp, cold January in Dublin...
I am back in Ireland now and adjusting to the time difference, spending time with the kids and recovering from the weeks of preparation, planning and the trip itself.
So I will, see you later (alligator) xx