In early 2007 I was invited to be on a the steering committee of the collaborative efforts of Microsoft, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Bayer Pharmaceuticals. At that time they were composing an outreach mechanism to inform us (the MS community) about the technologies available that help with various symptoms that we struggle with. (Especially the technologies that help us stay connected, like that screen you are sitting in front of, for instance.) And they were turning to us for insight on how to best communicate that information.
How great is that?! It was certainly exciting to be a part of this panel of people selected from across the country to represent individuals with MS. They were (and are) truly interested in what we had to say, and even better, they put that information to work. This is evident with the first development: mymsmyway.com. This site is the portal for resources. The one-stop shop for the information you need to know about the latest and greatest technologies that are available to support your life in the digital world.
On this site, you will find the snapshot tool. With this tool you can focus-in on what your needs are, and what exists to support those needs. For a quick preview of what those technologies are you can review the section marked Technology Tips. But if you prefer a more visual learning style, check out this youtube video. There you can see the actual gizmos in action that can help you solve the problems you hadn’t considered solvable! (and when you get to the end you will even see yours truly speaking the praise of this effort!)
So the collaborative continues and thus the steering committee is being utilized to inform outreach of more tools and more projects. It is truly an honor to be on this committee; to represent a group of which I’m a 20 year member.
So that brings me to the question: Why haven’t I brought this topic up on this blog sooner? It’s such an obvious venue for discussion… and certainly of interest to this blog’s expanding readership of individuals affected by MS who are clearly interested in functioning well with their computers! For an answer I glanced through the archives of my blog entries. And what I found was that I didn’t really start writing on this blog with regularity until December. (see blog rhythms) In fact I didn’t even start discussing MS SoftServe until after that time. So, it’s not hard to see what the lag time for this entry was. I clearly hadn’t gotten my “blog-groove” on until then. It’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t use my blog as a form of expression. Can it really be only 8 months ago??
Whatever the case may be, I’m bringing it up now and I look forward to keeping you informed about the many resources that this well-informed collaborative is bringing to the table. In fact… I will add them to my blog roll right this minute! Check back to see more info about the MS Tech Collaborative using that tag. I assure you I will be more current with my updates!
Thanks for reading!