i'm currently at an internal company briefing conference and have been having a chance to reflect on some things.
in one of our keynote sessions, we had our COO talk about a family in hawaii with a unique situation. (i'm not sure i'll get the recalled details correct, but you'll get the point.)
the family is made up of a father who is blind, a son who is deaf, two daughters who are blind, and a mother who holds the family together. look carefully...you'll see that there clearly is some complication for the family to even communicate with each other, thus where the mother comes into play.
we heard of the families learnings of how to cope with this and adjustments they made in their life. well, technology to the rescue in some areas...
microsoft worked with technology and brought computers into this household. the father could now speak into the voice-recognition software, which would translate the recognized speech into sign-language on a monitor that the deaf son could see. it was a heartbeat skipping moment seeing the father tell his son *himself* for the first time 'i love you.' wow...even writing this makes me swell. amazing.
this family has some tough challenges and now has (hopefully) some better methods to help with those challenges.
this conference i'm at is generally a sales conference. why am i here? something similar like the above story -- one of how technology in sometimes the simplest forms can help. you see, a relief organization uses a piece of software i wrote. long-story-short: they wrote a very kind thanks to me stating how the software helps enable information without having to know technology and how it '...helps saves lives.' wow. i was floored when i read that. you see, i'm actually quite embarrassed a bit about reading that. the technology isn't brain surgery. it doesn't have a SOA component to it, doesn't integrate disperate systems, doesn't do super-whiz-bang-make-my-company-more-money type of features. it enables information. period.
after hearing the story of the family above (by the way, they actually came on stage after their story was told -- to a 5 minute standing o), it made me reflect on this relief organization and their kind words.
sometimes it isn't the most complex things in life that make a difference. the smallest of things can create huge impact.
it's the little things...
(not to diminish the other efforts, two other co-workers who were behind the idea for katrinasafe.com are also being recognized for their efforts -- they did some great work!)