Everybody knows a picture can say a thousand words, but it can do more. It can help you with you TED talk! Geert Vandewalle admits he has some difficulty with speeking English but he arranged for some illustrative images to clearly explain his message.
The great thing is while you maybe didn’t notice, Geert tells us his story before he even began. By showing the audience what is difficult for him, the audience understands him and listens a little more carefully. Someone asks a question, others come to help. And that is also what Blue Assist is about. To help people with intellectual disabilities ask question and explain themselves so other people can help them.
But why is that important? Being able to manage your own life makes you independent and being independent is what we all want. Geert reminded us of the United Nations convention for People with Disabilities. It is being adopted by more and more countries in the world, securing a place in our society for the people who need it.
To illustrate his talk he asks to stage Peter and John. TEDxMaastricht taking place in a theater must have inspired Geert, because he acted to be those two persons himself. Peter is the classic case, diagnosed with a disability and send to live with others like him in a home somewhere outside of a village. While he may have a nice life, he will never fully be able to live life the way we do. John on the other hand has the blue screen on his smartphone. Somewhere in the near future, everybody knows what that means. It means someone has a question and everybody can help.
Hopefully, this simple solution and great technology will be adopted worldwide very soon and the blue screen becomes an international icon. This way we grow to a society where people with disabilities are independent and respected. And with Blue Assist you all can help.
A blog by Michiel Rutjes