How My Dog Inspired Me to Make Important Changes in My Business

Uncategorized May 06, 2021

Back in February, I shared my belief that attendee engagement in 2021 is all about focusing on the human element: Building empathy, compassion and kindness into our programs that feed the human operating system.

Two weeks ago, something happened that brought this belief system full circle. Ironically, it coincided with 4/20, National Weed Day.

That morning, my dog, Benji could barely open his eyes, and when he did, they were red – like he was stoned. He was sleepy all day, and had no energy, even for a walk. His eyes were so sensitive to sunlight that I gave him my blue-ray light-blocking glasses, which I use as part of my sleep hygiene routine.

Check him out:

Benji, Chief De-Stress Officer

Benji seemed better the following day, so I chalked it up to allergy season. I figured that if allergies affect people and I pretty much treat Benji like a person, he probably had allergies, too.

But I was way off base.

That weekend, Benji’’s red eyes also took on a bluish tinge. I rushed him to the vet, where they discovered that so much pressure had built up in his left eye that it had caused blindness.

Two days later, Benji saw a veterinary ophthalmologist. Thankfully, with four different eyedrops administered four times a day, Benji is now recovering nicely. He got much of his eyesight back. However, since eye diseases like glaucoma and cataracts are common in golden retrievers, Benji’s condition will likely worsen with age and he may lose his eyesight permanently.

His hearing, however, is impeccable: He can hear a food wrapper crinkle from a mile away!

How does my dog’s eyesight emergency relate to my business?

Well, it brought into sharp focus that it was high time I make my wellness offerings more accessible to the hearing impaired and people with disabilities. I’m pleased to share these important changes with you:

• Following a recent recommendation made by one of our Association clients, my Virtual Wellness Lounge content is now fully accessible to individuals with disabilities, consistent with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1).

• We’ve also added closed captions to all mind-body video breaks (stretch, deskercises, mindfulness and yoga), and we’re creating closed captions for all videos inside the SELF-CARE, SELF-CARE SELF-COACHING, and HEALTHY EATING mini-courses.

• Now, more than 100 videos – all byte-sized at about 5 minutes each – are accessible for diverse audiences, so everyone can be in their best frame of mind and body for virtual and hybrid events.

• Also, all my mind-body break videos are sweat-free: They’re tailored for work clothing and include adaptations for people with disabilities.

• We have a series of videos that show how the stretches and yoga poses can be done while seated.

Adopting an overall mindset of diversity and inclusion is paramount for many organizations and businesses today. I don’t just talk about it; I do it.

One great thing about being a small, virtual business is that I can actively listen to client needs and then quickly pivot to make immediate changes.

I’m on a mission to make wellness easy, inclusive and accessible to all. By engaging with empathy, I make a point to put myself in attendees’ shoes -- from the minute they wake up until they go to bed. I am with them, virtually, as they navigate long meeting days from home while also juggling work and family responsibilities.

Here’s what I want YOU to do:

Let’s focus our attention on the PERSON attending your virtual and hybrid meetings, not the technology they’re staring at. And if they must stare at technology all day, let’s make it accessible to the hearing-impaired – with closed captions.

I’ve already received very positive feedback about these changes: My affiliate partner Laurens Vernot, of BodyWorks, Massage Sponsorship and Attendee Wellness Company, is hearing impaired. He is thrilled about our recent pivot to be ADA web accessible and compliant, because it’s especially appealing to his association clients.

Join me in making wellness accessible to everyone.

By focusing on compassion and the human element in attendee engagement, Laurens and I can help you create a healthy, impactful virtual or hybrid experience for your attendees.

Feel free to book an introductory chat with us anytime.

Be well,

PS: Take a peek at what’s inside the Lounge HERE and take a video tour HERE.


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