I’m not going to lie; I think the whole business canvas model assignment really confused me. My group and I were very lost in the process of creating the model and trying to figure it out and I think a large part of that was because it feels like we have done this assignment over and over again. We addressed the idea of a sustainable water source for farmers using PureMadi water tablets and we thought it was a really neat and different idea! But if feel if we were given more time it could have been more developed. After looking at it after class I think I *may*be starting to understand it more. I don’t know that I could use it later on in the future. I think it’s an interesting way to do business, but I personally don’t see it as a way I could do business.
Empathetic design is a really important thing to me, the ability to make something possible for those that something is made hard or impossible due to an illness or disability is outstanding. It really hits home with me because uncle passed away about a month ago due to the nasty disease that is ALS. He was one of the test subjects for VisuALS, a program engineering students at Oklahoma Christian University have developed that allows the eyes of those suffering from the loss of their voice due to ALS to have a voice again. Although the last two years of his life he wasn’t able to personally tell me he loved me, I heard it through the computer and it will always be one of my favorite sounds because I could hear it and see it in his eyes. This somewhat connected to Paul Bennett’s TED Talk, he mentioned those in hospitals waking up and all day staring at the ceiling that is bland and boring and unexciting, this is something that my uncle dealt with, the fact that he was always either lying in bed or sitting in his electric wheelchair. His ideas reach much further than hospitals, they could be used in a number of settings.
I think just due to my experience of illness within my family the past couple of years with my grandmother who was basically unable to get anywhere without someone pushing her in her wheelchair and my uncle who was bound to an electric chair I would definitely want to help improve upon the shopping experience for those who are in a mobility chair of some sort. It is already so hard for them to go about their lives due to the fact that they can’t do anything for themselves that it makes it extremely difficult for those who are designated to care for them. I know most stores take this into consideration, but many say they do and honestly don’t. I see this as something that needs to be brought to light and fixed. I don’t know how I would go about it other than bringing it to the attention of those who are in charge of regulations that are placed on stores. I think one person being understanding of the problem starts a domino effect and could change the way those who are unable to walk have a little bit more freedom in public without feeling like a burden or roadblock.
SIDE NOTE: If any of you feel compelled to read more about the wonderful work that OC students are doing for the ALS community here is a link to their page! Carl Phelps is my uncle! He and my aunt, Janice, has been on countless daily news shows including Good Morning America talking about their experiences! It is an incredible incredible program that helped him live his life with a little more normalcy than he ever thought would be possible. https://oc.edu/stories/content/voice-for-the-voiceless