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Maria Giudice

Director of Product Design,

TEDCRED 200+

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What was the most amazing social experience you had and why?

I'm doing a research project on engaging, public, social experiences and trying to understand what makes them so special. Looking for patterns here, so, no wrong answers!

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  • Feb 26 2011: Almost 30 years ago I was showing Trudy, a person in her 20s with severe cerebral palsy, how to use an adapted PC hooked up to the pre-web Internet. As someone in a wheelchair who experienced little physical control and understandable speech all of her life, Trudy's social experience had always been colored by the disability lens through which others perceived and responded to her. Although she was slow in using her adapted keyboard to communicate, she had developed quite a few 'macros' that would type out phrases and sentences based on shortcuts.

    Using that system we could 'see' that someone a thousand miles away was checking their online mailbox and she 'fingered' them by typing out 'hello' to him. I've never forgotten the scream of joy that she let out when he responded, asking how she was. I watched in goose-bumped fascination as I watched her make a friend who, for the first time in her life, didn't know she was disabled.

    That moment changed the course of my life as I marveled at the real human-empowering benefits of technology and have since worked, in my own small way, to bend the relationship that human's have towards their tools and technologies in this direction,... and away from having people serve it, as often tends to happen.

    Thanks Maria for the question ... and the pleasant swing down memory lane. :-)

    b.

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