Get motivated to take enthusiastic action that will help you turn that dream into reality. One step at a time and you will surely achieve anything.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Some Building Obstacles are just Unneccessary.

Hi Everybody

I was out with a wheelchair user last week attending a meeting together. Everything was fine on the street, although there were several obstacles that he had to navigate around such as tables and chairs outside cafes and A-Frame advertising boards. 

Then we approached to building where the meeting was being held. This was  relatively new building of around  20 to 30 years I would imagine. It had been recently re-furbished (probably this year) and was used as a community type centre. There was a ramp up the side of the building to the main entrance door and there was an upright edge to the ramp so that wheelchairs couldn't veer off and white stick users had a tapping board to guide them. But at the door my friend just could not operate the entry system because he could reach it. It was tucked in the corner. I had press the button and to open the door for him.

Once inside the desk was low so that was good but we had to pass through two locked doors both with digital keypads that he couldn't operate. The doors themselves were extemely heavy and more than the prescribed pressure laid down in Part M of the Building Regulations. In fact to heavy for my friend to open. Then there was the lift. Just big enough for him and another person but the side walls were open and he had to keep pressing on the control for the lift to move. He couldn't do this. As he went in frontways and couldn't turn inside so he had to reverse out. There should have been a mirror against the rear wall, as specified in Part M so he could see behind him as he did reverse so he could see when the door ws open and if there were any obstructions. 

Then we had to go into a meeting room. There were two sets of doors which were very heavy with a short corridor between of approximately a metre so he had to have both doors open simultaneously to pass through, which was impossible for him on his own. There should have been either just one door or a passage sufficiently long to allow the first door to close before opening the next. In reality there was only need for one door. 

I guess this was designed by an architect and am surprised that the refurbishments were passed by the local authority. In this day of accessibility I could not believe the barriers  within this building so here are some guidelines.

The ramp leading up to the main door is good as it gives access to the building as is the upright edge for safety. But there should be a handrail on both sides. There is no need for steps in addition to the ramp because the rise is only about 300mm. 

The door controls and intercom button should be within easy reach. In this case the controls were on the far wall in the corner and not easily accessible. It would have been better to place the controls on the side of the door first reached when moving up the ramp. 

It is understood there is a security issue here and that people in the reception area may have restricted access further into the building. Inside the doors should have been controllable from the Reception  desk or self opening. Digital locks are the worse as visually impaired people cannot distinguish different buttons or the text upon them, whilst those with digital restrictions cannot press the right spot. The doors should have the least resistance to open but to ensure a firm close as these are fire doors. 

Floating lifts where two walls are open to the lift shaft are most unsuitable for some disabled people, Visually impaired people may not realise the walls are moving or that the have to continually hold the lift control between stops. Others may have a difficulty giving a continuous hold, wheelchair users may have a problem reaching the controls if they cannot move their chair. In addition there should be a mirror on the rear wall so wheelchair users can reverse out safely.

The doors to the meeting rooms should be easy to push open or be on automatic openers and be single leaf for easy entry. I didn't check the width of any doors so it's not known if they comply.



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Interview Techniques to Make better Video

Interview techniques are straight forward but often we forget some of the basics so here's some tips.

Decide the format of your interview.
  •  Is it a two-hander showing both the interviewer and interviewee
  • Just the interviewee 
  • A documentary with the interviewer  telling the story and cutaways of interviewees to accentuate a point. 
Once you've decided then stick to the same format. If you change mid-stream it will throw the audience.

Are you using one or two cameras? You can make an interesting interview cutting between both parties with one camera but it takes a bit or organising and planning. With two cameras
you can direct one at each party, lay them down in parallel on the time-line when you are editing and then then  cut between. This is the simplest. Firstly when you are editing it's possible to see the two 2 faces and cut to the best shot. If there is hesitation or any reason to edit something out then you just cut to the other party and there is no jump in the

click here to continuity.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Shall I SHOUT then?

Hi Guys
I had some top tips given to me yesterday by a lady suffering from a hearing lose. She can hear high tones but not low ones so many people's voices are just lost. And this is a disability suffered by many older people as the symptoms seem to creep up on you.

Going out for a meal, to a busy event or to the theatre can be a nightmare. You just can't hear the other person so there are 3 alternatives that I see. First tell the other person, secondly not say anything but watch their lips and face and nod or disagree by guessing, and third to just not go out.

And staying at home seems normal for many. They'd rather miss out on socialising than not hear and feel left out or being embarrassed by their companions who start shouting or worse.

 You can tell the other person and hope they use common sense and maybe look at you when they talk so you can see their lips better and so connect hearing a little with seeing. Many people react by shouting close up which doesn't help. It doesn't make hearing clear, just puts up a bigger barrier.
  Most people with a hearing impairment will have some lip-reading experience so its very important that you don't cover your mouth. Just look at the person trying to hear and talk clearly without shouting.

The other major issue is the lack of, or ignorance of hearing systems. These are either infra-red or induction loops which we will describe in another post. It is your responsibility to remove barriers for disabled people and in this case you need to make adjustments that will allow them to hear, and this generally means supplying a devise that will improve hearing so that a system must be installed where necessary. You'll have noticed these devices in shops and offices, and at most reception areas. They are kept switched on and the person with a hearing aid switches it to the "T" position. This enables them to pick up the signal and hear the receptionist or whoever.

Unfortunately many devices are switched off, often under the misconception that the hearing aid wearer should ask for it to be switched on. This is not necessary, they are designed to operate off a permanent power supply. And there are battery operated portable models that can  be taken into meetings if necessary.

In larger rooms, theatres and movie houses etc then either the whole area or designated parts are covered. The problems here are that when a deaf person says they need the hearing system sometimes the staff don't know which seats are covered, or the headset has a flat battery or the whole system is switched off. The lady I spoke with said that recently she was seated in the back row so not only was the hearing system not working for her but she couldn't see the signer or the text that was shown each side of the stage.

Not having a system is  have service users, customers, clients, patrons or whatever you call them in your work, then you must have a system avaulable and staff who can use it. In addition there should be suitable signage and the device should be regularly checked and a record kept.


 We have some English/Welsh bi-lingual tactile signs available









Friday, October 30, 2015

Disability Access Auditing

Hi Everyone

Although we carry out disability audits you can do your own on small offices although if you miss anything you may be liable if there is action taken against you by a disabled person. So beware.

Let me tell you about the types of disability that you have to cater for. You might be
 surprised.A disability is defined under the DDA as a physical or mental impairment, a specific learning difficulty or health condition that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.


A substantial adverse effect is more than minor or trivial and more than the normal differences in ability that exist between people.

A long-term effect is one that has lasted at least 12 months or where the total period for which it is likely to last is at least 12 months or where it is likely to last for the rest of the person’s life.

The definition of disability includes physical disabilities, mental health difficulties, specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, sensory impairments. severe disfigurements and facial disfigurements, progressive conditions with an effect, however small, on day-to-day activities, which is expected to become substantia, conditions with a number of effects, which have a substantial cumulative effect (such as pain or fatigue), people with a history of disability even if they have recovered (for example a person who has had a mental health condition in the past).

Conditions such as cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis are covered from the point of diagnosis. When deciding whether a person has a disability, any medication or other treatment that they receive is disregarded. The only exception to this rule is the use of spectacles or contact lenses to correct vision. In this case, a person’s vision is considered with the help of contact lenses or glasses rather than without.

But you need to know the definition of disability does not include: loss of mobility due to a broken limb, which is likely to heal within 12 months, hay fever, which is seasonal, addictions to alcohol, nicotine or other non-prescribed substances, tendencies to steal, light fires, physically or sexually abuse others, exhibitionism or voyeurism, tattoos and body piercing, in the disfigurements category.

Normal day-to-day activities mean activities that are carried out by most people fairly regularly and frequently. They are defined as:mobility, manual dexterity, physical co-ordination, continence, ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects, speech, hearing or eyesight, memory or the ability to concentrate, learn or understand, perception of the risk of physical danger.

Normal day-to-day activities do not include activities which are normal only for a particular person, such as playing a musical instrument or performing a specialist task at work. And an individual is only protected if it is recognised that their impairment has an effect on their day-to-day activities, regardless of the extent of the discrimination.

If you have any questions then leave a comment






Tuesday, September 22, 2015

My gift to you for September

Hi Guys

Now launched another course aimed at overseas students coming to the UK. Covering areas like medical care, money and banking, English social customs, 200 most used words with voice recording so you can speak alongside, eating aout and shopping. 

You can access this course without paying. Because it is new and I want to get some feed-back so go to the course at http://motiv8.usefedora.com/motiv8.com and enroll. You must sign in and start the enrol procedure. Next to the final amount is a REDEEM button, click and enter INTROCODE and this will get you in. You can then take the course at no cost, There is a life-time no cost upgrade guarantee so whenever I put in additional material or change what is there you will get notified. 

Take a look and you can take any of the other courses too using the same web address and coupon code. If you are thinking of making extra money on the internet this is a very good route. Like any other good money maker it takes a lot of work to get set up but once established there is a good continual income and your efforts will diminish with time. So put the effort in now and get small income then as your income grows your efforts with slow down. 

Now I've given this a lot of thought and I feel that many people dream of having an online business but few achieve it. I believe there are only three reasons and they are:
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Lack of enthusiastic action
  • No self-believe

So lets look at these. Fear of the unknown  is very common and we because we are generally will not stand up to our fears they continue to hold us back. Then, when its too late we take a look or give it a try. We then realise it was easy and nothing to worry about. And we want to kick ourselves for being sacred of something unknown. NOW. Why are you afraid of something that is private and that nobody else will see until you tell them? Why are we afraid of a new idea or new process that we will have to learn? We are afraid because we do not want to look stupid. We are afraid because we do not have a believe in ourselves. 

You have to overcome this fear by just letting go and having a go. GO and have a look at www.udemy.com or www.usefedora.com. Both are good platforms that you can launch a course on. Both have free help courses to guide you through and both will encourage you to succeed. They make money from every course you sell so of course they will support you. 

The second reason most people don't go ahead and write a course is that they dream about it but do not take POSITIVE ENTHUSIASTIC ACTION. And when they look at what other people are doing they say "Well I could do better than that". But the truth is they will never know and never be able to prove it. But doing better isn't the point really. The point is just doing it because once you launch a course or anything else you can improve it. Just take action.

The third reason is really a combination of the first two reasons. Having no self believe. The longer you fear the unkown and the longer you do not take action then the deeper your self believe will plunge. Confident people just take the plunge and do it.

If you don't have self believe and confidence fake it till you make it. Eventually you will realise you are very capable and then go from strength to strength.

If you are worried about spelling ang grammar then just ask someone to look your work over. Tell them you'd appreciate their help because you want everything to be right and you think they have better skills than you. WE all have better skills than the other person in some areas so its just a trade off.

Finally if you have any queries leave a comment.

So enroll in the courses and and give a bit of thought to how you could do the same. And maybe you have the get up and go to take some positive enthusiastic action and create a course.

Good luck



Tuesday, September 01, 2015

My Online Courses & Products. Day One

This is an adventure in setting up sites to sell products and courses. I've no real experience except minor E-Bay that we've all done. But I've read many articles and seen many videos so lets get started.

Firstly, I've found that it's unusual to be given the whole story and secondly I can see that you have to be dedicated, hard-working and versatile. You must take action and keep taking it to keep the ball rolling. And In think you have to start on different fronts before you even begin to sell anything. You could just have a page selling your product or services but, unless you have e-mail addresses for dozens of people who you can tell an who will buy then nobody will know about you. So it's basically 3 things. You need your products, you need people who will buy from you, and you need somewhere to store them to be delivered (order fulfillment). 

To find new potential customers you really need to look at several ways.  I've listed these out here:

A blog
Facebook
Website
Landing Page
Articles
Video
Auto Responder

Before we begin lets look at each.of these elements.


Your Blog
Your blog should be a articles or videos posted on a regular basis. They must have top quality content and be relevant to your topic. So if you are setting up a course or membership site about Dogs then each article should be about dogs inj some way. Maybe dog training, dog exercising, dog diets, dog illnesses, dog as a companion.

No matter how knowledgeable you are I'd suggest you need to keep researching so that you become an authority. Once you are recognised as an authority you'll find your courses or membership sells better and more people sign up for longer. You need to become an authority so you firstly don't run out of material to write about and secondly so what you write is reliable and true. Your members will come to rely on you.

A really good way to build up your knowledge is to ask members what is their biggest concern and to write and tell you, You may have to check this out or you may be able to advise straight away. Whatever is the situation you should use those questions as part of your course or membership site. Answering questions will also bring in new members because they might look for the answer on Google and so come to your blog, or else they may be tld about you by the person who originally asked the question.

Facebook

You'll need to set up a Facebook Page in addition to your personal page. Or set up a Facebook Group. If you don't know the difference then a Page is run by you as your official authentic page that others can follow, receive updates in their News Feed and interact with you. So for example I could have a Page Mike Leahy's It's a Dog's Life.
.  
A Group is also run by you but this is for a group of people with a similar interest. The Group can be Open whee anyone can join, or a closed group where the administator authorises membership of anyone applying to join. Members discuss issues between themselves.

In my opinion a Group is better for you with a course or membership site. It allows transparency between members and yourself, and it brings members closer to you, they will get to know you, like you and trust you. When that happens your members will buy more from you or recommend you.

Both Pages and Groups have to be set up and managed. This takes time and effort which we will go into later. You can use both for announcements, photos and videos, thanking members, giving them news, asking them to share and so build up more followers, members and customers.

Website
We all know what a website is. And before you needed to be technically minded to produce but now its simple. There are free websites around but you may need to spend a little here and pay fr hosting.Hosting is like the ground space and then we build the house with different rooms for different purposes. In a house you have the kitchen, bathroom, dining room, lounge and so on. In a website you may have an opening page, an "about" page, a page with products or services that you are selling, a blog, and perhaps others. 

We get our hosting and then build our website, or we may have a pre-build house and move it onto the hosting site. Then we send out messages to our friends that we have moved or built a house and they can contact us or visit us. 

Your first website might consist of a page with your products, an opening page and a blog. So you can welcome people people and they can see you are alive and kicking, on your blog they can see interesting videos and articles that will instill confidence and a product page where they can order. There should be an auto-responder on each page. (See auto-responder below).

Once you have built up confidence you can send out e-mails and take potential customers right to a product page where they can purchase. But I feel this won't happen overnight unless you have a list of names or friends with lists who can recommend you.

Landing Page
The Landing Page is the product page where people are sent to see your products and place an order. So it may be part of your website or in addition. 

Articles
You need to start writing articles. But you can buy them There are sites such as www.fiverr.com where you can have articles written at a very low cost. Articles with really good content are important. Articles should be about what you are selling but should not be a sales pitch. They should be everything except selling the product. That comes later. 

Take a look at some blogs and articles online. Go to Google and type in your subject "Dogs" and look down. You will find articles of course, and many will be on blogs. Check them out. Then try being more specific "Dog exercising" for example. 

If you haven't written much before then try reading an article, writing some notes about what is written then write your own original article. Not good at spelling and general grammar? Ask a friend or someone in the family to help you. People are always happy to help.  Go to Google and type in "Help with writing an article" and you'll find how to write, grammar, spelling and much more. If you are using a word-processor then switch or auto-correct and words will be underlined that are spelt wrong, after you finish try spell-check. There is no excuse.

Be regular with article writing, at least one a week. Soon you'll have build up a large blog.

Video 
Video is now critical to online success. You can have video about products, about you, about your business and much more. The big problem is that nobody likes talking on video. We'll talk about that later. Video is so simple today. You just need a smartphone, that is all to capture simple video. Point and shoot. 

Obviously it gets more complicated as you want to make better video but its not necessary t start. Your videos can go on Facebook, Youtube, your website, Landing Page, and on your blog. For simple everyday videos I take and don't edit I go to www.socialcam.com where I post up and this gets sent automatically to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. If you want to see go to "Mike Leahy". here's an app which I highly recommend this, and its free.

Take the plunge and make some video. Try talking over. Just keep it private until you are confident. Stick with me and I'll make you a Video champ.

Auto-responder
You need to set up an auto-responder. There are several available. There are some free to start ones and that's what I'd recommend because you can upgrade or download the data and take elsewhere.

Right. An auto-responder is a system that asks for information such as e-mail address and name and puts that data into a list that you can use to send  e-mails too. But there bis much much more. You can send a series of e-mails that you have written as a package so someone might get an email ever 2 days after they fill out the form. They might get an e-mail when you have a new product and then a follow-up in a day or so. There are many combinations. We'll go into more detail when I set up an account.

And Finally
And the most important attributes you must have is to take positive action and the second is to be able to write (or have someone who can do this for you) articles, front up videos and become the brand.

Sound difficult? Well it isn't really. Like everything it's difficult until you start. So the time you waste because you are afraid to start is money lost.



Thursday, August 06, 2015

It's still an Issue

When the Disability Discrimination Act was announced hundreds of Access Consultants suddenly appeared and major Companies felt the fear of not complying. Consultants were pulled in and audits carried out resulting in huge reports with minute detail of barriers and other hurdles that needed adjusting to increase access.

Now most architects have taken the access issue on board when designing new buildings, mainly because they have to show it has been a consideration in new build and have had to provide an access statement.

It is strange, however, that many didn't include any consulting with disabled people to see what they needed or in fact wanted. The very group that the legislation was aimed at to improve their access and indeed quality of social life. Unfortunately the result has been mixed. Many organisations have taken steps to implement some recommendations, a few have implemented everything but many have taken no action at all. In fact I recall calling on a store that was part of a national chain and talking to the manager to see if they had ben audited. His answer was "We aren't going to bother. If we are sued then we will make changes before getting to court" And that seems to have been a common reaction.

So has the whole issue died away and disabled people are putting up with bad access? I think in general that access is "so so" but certainly not good. In buildings with front steps many Companies bought ramps but I've seen many gathering dust in cupboards. Users generally shie away from these barriers and just go elsewhere if they can. Some have told me its too much bother that they will just get on with life.

But is this good enough? Shouldn't we still be looking at existing buildings and seeing what can be done. Much involves little or no cost, maybe a new procedure. And if adjustments cannot be made at a reasonable cost then alternatives can be introduced. Although there is a legal obligation isn't this equally a moral issue? Shouldn't we be looking after everyone in our society.

If you feel an access audit would help you and would increase the footfall in your business call me. I work pragmatically and always consult with disabled users wherever possible. Sometimes access can be improved with a bit of imagination and creativity.


Saturday, July 04, 2015

Exciting new video editing software that's a real winner


Video is king.
 
A video says more than a million words
 
So why don't more people use video on their websites, blogs, Facebook page and landing pages?
 
Is it because many are afraid of video? Don't realise how easy it is? Don't want to feature on video? I believe it is a mixture of these and many other factors. So they are losing opportunities to increase orders for their business. Video helps potential customers get to know you, get to like you, and get to trust you. Video also lets you demonstrate products. Seeing someone on your website handing a product is almost as good as them holding it themselves. And holding a product gives you a feeling of possession. So this is very important.
I've discovered a brilliant video editor which is quite unlike any I've ever seen. It's easy to use and is the most versatile low-cost video editing I've ever seen. Take a look just click here 
 
Just take a look and you'll be as impressed as me. I must tell you I may be paid a commission by the seller if you decide to purchase. I will have some examples to show you in a day or so but I wanted to tell you immediately.
 
You may also be interested in the video training I shall be covering in this blog over the coming weeks,. This will cover using smartphones to produce outstanding video, composing shots to be more interesting, how to talk on video, how to make a good selvid (video selfie), what you should include, titling, setting up a YouTube page and much more. So why not click here  or copy and paste this link http://jvz6.com/c/376557/123757 and see how with Explaindio you can make watchable videos with or without people and even without using any video.
Working on your business, not in it.
 
 


Friday, July 03, 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It is now 9 years since the Disability Discrimination Act Part III came into force in 2004 laying out the rights of disabled people. And now in many cases it seems as if that legislation has been forgotten after the initial panic by businesses and the mass marketing by the suppliers of access equipment and access consultants. Suppliers were quick to bring out new products and heavily market existing ones: and quite rightly hat's what they do, find a market and promote heavily. Many Access Auditors wrote very detailed audits picking up minute detail that they listed as inaccessible and requiring an adjustment: and I feel they were often protecting themselves and not being practical, bringing extremely high costs with them. The Business was almost held to ransom with the Act being construed to suit. So many businesses just ignored he Act altogether. Others had audits carried out but took no action to implement the recommendations. Few were taken to court, most actions were settled out of court. I can recall carrying out an audit at a magistrates' court then being call as a witness by someone who could access the building to follow a particular case that was personal to them. And in most cases the Act died.

Now we have fallen into the pattern of new build being designed to comply with the Act and BSI 8300, which lays down and specifies accessible building features but many existing buildings remain inaccessible, although simple adjustments could be made that would make a huge difference.

Remember disability isn't confines to wheelchair users. In fact wheelchair users make up just a small percentage of disabled people. Remember, a disabled person as someone with "a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This could be related to hearing or vision, learning difficulties, physical impairment that restricts movement or grip for example, shaking or involuntary movement and much more. The Act breaks disability down into 7 categories. And interestingly some disabilities may be brought on by specific circumstances, for example a shock such as a fire alarm sounding might bring on a hear condition or severe asthma.

If you are looking to employ someone who is disabled you might think about having a person audit carried out on their behalf. Or you may look to having a PEEP undertaken. This is a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan and is a requirement as part of your standard Emergency Evacuation Plan that every business must have for getting everybody out of the building if necessary, that's basically the emergency route signs you have around the building.

Good access for all does make sense, we are now in an age where equality reigns. Where disabled people are now looking for full lives and not spending their time at home. And in most cases access improvements are low cost and obvious. Its always best to ask any disable discuss access with disabled people as they are usually pragmatic and just want to get on with life.

I've been undertaking access audits for more than 10 years and have covered the UK. If you have a concern over accessibility in your business or employ disabled people contact me for advice at access@mikeleahy.com







  
 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Just the Job course launched on Udemy

Life is an ever changing tapestry with its ups and downs. Recent years have seen unemployment rise dramatically then steadily fall as more and more people have been able to find employment.
And this should be good exciting news but many jobs are just part-time or zero hour contracts, which means people are off the unemployed register but working for a pittance. The government tell us that average wages have risen but I think you'll find that is in specific jobs and places. Probably mainly in the South East and in the service and financial sectors. For many their wages or salaries have stayed stagnant or been reduced.
Now this is not a political comment, although the government seem to massage the statistics and manipulate the figures as with inflation. The shopping basket used for the cost of living index has been changed over the years taking out some of the rapid rise items. This is a rational comment on the state of play.
If you are on a zero hour contract you'll probably have times when you expect an eight hour shift and are released after just a couple. You might even find that you've had days or even weeks when there has been no work. As far as the official figures are concerned you are working.
You may be working part-time, say 16 hours a week. How are you supposed to live on that? But you are off the unemployed register.
So now is your opportunity to get that job you really want. The job that you will enjoy. The job that will give you sufficient wages to live.
 If you know anyone looking for a job or seeking to change their job look here for a discounted course I've put together https://www.udemy.com/just-the-job/?couponCode=JustApr2015  Get back on track here.
We all talk about HAVING to work, and its true, we need to work to pay our way. But work gives you real satisfaction. If not then maybe you should consider changing.
Be enthusiastic and take positive action