Having spent a couple years in cattle country, I couldn’t help imagining this scene when it came time to brand myself.
Amidst editing my book, choosing a printer and finalizing other details necessary before I’ll Do It Myself goes to press, I am also progressing through the Mega Marketing Makeover. Currently, I’m working with Suzanne Falter-Barns of Get Known Now to develop my brand – how I’ll be known in the marketplace. After some discussion and brainstorming, “I’ll Do It Myself” emerged as my brand. Imagine that! When Suzanne googled “I’ll Do It Myself”, she was excited to see I have the top three spots. Apparently, that is pretty sweet! I now have my brand.
The next step is to nail down the description of what I actually do, my expert line. For the past few years, I’ve been using Web Accessibility Specialist. In this field, I have enjoyed the championing role -– enabling and encouraging people to see the need for accessible websites -– more than the hardcore technical stuff. I would like to expand upon this role by providing able-bodies (ABs) a safe forum to address their heebee-geebees about interacting with people with disabilities. Once my book is released, I envision accomplishing this by continuing to write and to podcast, offering webinars, e-courses and such.
I also want to offer hope and encouragement to those affected by disabilities, either directly or indirectly. I stumbled across this blog post, which so perfectly demonstrates what I want to do. By sharing my story, I touched this father of a special needs child in a way that he needed in that moment. What could be greater than that? That is what I aim to do.
But how do you put that into a nice, short, snappy phrase? There is where Suzanne and I have bogged down. We aren’t sure how to define what I do. We have brainstormed many ideas, but none really appeal to me for various reasons; some of which are obvious.
- Every Persons Guide to Understanding the Life of the Disabled (the disabled what? The word “disabled” is an adjective, not a noun. An adjective needs a noun to describe, i.e. “disabled people”. However, that phrase breaks the first cardinal rule when writing about this segment of the population: put the person first, before the disability, i.e. “people with disabilities” or “writer with cerebral palsy”, etc.)
- Champion for the Disabled
- Disability Access Expert
- Disabled Access Expert and Author (Is the access disabled? That is definitely not what we want, as there is enough of that!)
- Heegee-Geebee Remover (Apparently the media doesn’t have a sense of humour. They wouldn’t get this. Drat!)
- Disabled Person’s Liaison
- Liaison for the Disabled
- Advocate for the Disabled
- Author and Advocate for the Disabled
- Supporter of Disabled People
- Disabled Person’s Acceptability Coach (Something with acceptance/acceptability definitely has possibility as it gets at something I dubbed the AAA Principle - accessibility also involves awareness and acceptance of people with disabilities - all disabilities. However, coach may not fit because, according to Wikipedia, coaches rarely offer advice. Me not offer advice? Where is the fun in that? Perhaps leadership is a more appropriate term. The Wikipedia offers R. J. House’s definition of leadership: “the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members”. The words influence, motivate and enable definite fit with what I do and would like to do. Hmmm, Acceptability Leader – Inspiring People to Embrace Differences???)
- Web Accessibility Expert for People with Disabilities (I would like to grow beyond web accessibility.)
- Web Access Champion for People with Disabilities (Actually, web accessibility benefits more than only people with disabilities. There are numerous carry-over or auxiliary benefits to universal design.)
- Disability Liaison Champion (This has some potential.)
- Champion for All with Disabilities (This may perpetuate the stereotype that the disabled community is a homeogenous group. I can see the headlines now: Champion for All of Us? Who Does Glenda Watson Hyatt Think She Is? Uhh, no. Next!)
- Disability Liberation Expert (Ugh, no!)
- Disability Rights Champion (Sounds too political.)
- Disability Motivation Expert
- An Inspiration Source for People with Disabilities
- Diversity and Inclusion Specialist - the Only DIS in Disability (Although I never really did like the way some people played with the word, i.e. disAbility - too disability movement-ish for me.)
- Attitude Adjustor (This one appeals to me. Would the media get it?)
I welcome your ideas and thoughts on this topic. Looking forward to another lively round of comments!