Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I'm back in my kitchen. Back in familiar surroundings with the aromas and spices I missed so much when I was on the road.  

Lethbridge, Alberta

Work took me across Canada, visiting communities north and west of Ottawa, Ontario, sharing my journalistic experiences with budding reporters. My mission was to teach them the basics of news gathering and televised reporting.

With CTV News Anchor Lloyd Robertson in Sudbury, Ontario 

AK's journalism workshop in Edmonton, Alberta

Most of the participants in my workshop live without sight. Some without hearing. Others with mobility challenges and brain disorders, such as cerebral palsy.

Before embarking on my cross-country endeavour, I wondered how -- with such physical limitations -- can they possibly gather news, scan written data, write engaging stories and present their work?

Not easy. But not impossible. Will and technology can be great enablers.  

With the help of special software and ear buds or headphones, users can hear the printed word. Mechanical devices called Braillers let users tap out their text in a series of raised dots. Their fingers read their tactile writing. In other cases, super large, high contrast text makes reading possible on a computer screen. 
With the right tools, there need not be dis-ability, only different abilities. What may seem  impossible merely takes some creativity and extra time. 

For me, dictations apps, big fonts and the speak feature on my smart phone allow me to work.

I'm slowly easing back into my kitchen after an inspiring, energizing adventure across Canada. 

I couldn't leave you without some edible inspiration: 

Wild Sockeye Salmon on a bed of risotto

Brûléed lemon custard with crème fraîche and gold dust

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