Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Girl Behind the Camera

Heather Reilly loves taking pictures, still pictures, moving pictures, any kind of pictures. She is not only a photographer but videographer and an editor as well. And she is also extremely talented. This past spring she volunteered to help GraceSigns through the TapRoot Foundation (a service organization providing pro-bono workers to non profits). She was gracious enough to answer some questions about herself.
How did you come to working in film/editing?"I have worked as a television and video producer for a number of years and have always enjoyed working with editors and the editing process. I have edited my own video projects and a few videos for nonprofits. A couple years ago I completed a certificate program in motion graphics."When did you begin your career?"After I graduated from college I interned on a Ken Burns documentary. That experience led to work on other historical documentaries and non-fiction television projects." What can you tell the reader about yourself and your business?"I love a good story, and I find that video is a great medium for entertaining and educating. My work includes nationally broadcast series for public television, video content for global and local nonprofits and museum exhibitions. Past projects have included historical documentaries, profiles of women leaders from around the world, American pop music legends, science fiction, global development and public health. Currently I work at UC Berkeley as a media specialist for the History of Art Department."What prompted you to offer your services to GraceSigns through TapRoot Foundation? "I am always looking for projects that will help sharpen my technical skills so I signed up as a TapRoot volunteer. I was interested in creating content for an app and the GraceSigns project sounded like it would be fun to work on... it was!"Did you enjoy the experience of working on the Sign Me ABCs app project with GraceSigns?"I did enjoy working on the app project, I still find myself humming the ABC song." Were you pleased with the end result?"Yes!"
Note: To contact Heather Reilly:'s promo Sign Me ABCs video for the App Store can be viewed here: a big thanks to the folks at TapRoot Foundation for connecting us with exceptional talent like Heather. We wouldn't be operational without their help.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What is Diversity?

Diversity means Inclusion. Or so I thought. I looked up DIVERSITY in the dictionary, well actually I looked online on and found this definition: “Diversity: 1. The state of fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness: diversity of opinion. 2. Variety; multiformity. 2. The inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, religion, socioeconomic stratum, sexual orientation, etc.: diversity in the workplace. 4. A point of difference.
Okay, that sounds good. However, which unnamed group is “etc.” suppose to symbolize?
I am going to assume that the etc. in the above definition is meant to represent everyone else (perhaps that is where we will put people with disabilities). According to the World Bank Organization, “One billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability.” That is a substantial group and they deserve to be recognized. When we talk about Diversity, let’s actually see individuals with disabilities - represented in our workplaces, in our schools and in the media. Let’s be inclusive.
GraceSigns has a mission of creating sign language and reading applications that bridge communication gaps but just as importantly we include children with disAbilities in our apps, social media and marketing. We believe in Diversity AND Inclusion.
What does Diversity mean to you?