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Read and share the full letter.
Dear Everybody
Dear Everybody,

Got a question for someone with a disability? Ask them, not the person with them.

Read and share the full letter.
Dear Everybody
Dear Everybody,

Just because someone doesn't speak the way you do, doesn't mean they don't have a lot to say.

Read and share the full letter.
Dear Everybody
Dear Everybody,

We live with our disabilities every day. You might think that’s the biggest problem but it isn’t. The biggest problem is the world that’s full of stigma around living with a disability. People are afraid to offend so they avoid asking questions or making conversation. But we need to get these answers out there, we need to start talking. So we’re putting it all out there. Every line of our letter helps people understand our lives, puts a little information into our world and takes a little stigma out of it. So read and share because a world without stigma is a better world for everybody.

Here we go.

Thank you for reading. If you discovered one new thing about living with a disability, then we already live in a better world. Please share this letter and help us start an even bigger conversation.

From the kids of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

It’s time

to end stigma for young Canadians with disabilities. So we’re putting it all out there.

Position Paper

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital provides care for children and youth with disabilities, medical complexity and those who require rehabilitation after illness or trauma. We are committed to sharing our expertise and advancing social justice to build a world of no boundaries for all children and youth with disabilities.

While we celebrate the increasing value placed on diversity and inclusion in society, we have to ask, where do children and youth with disabilities fit into the conversation? Children and youth with disabilities continue to face far too many frustrating, heartbreaking, and otherwise damaging barriers – barriers caused, ultimately, by stigma.

In our position paper, , learn more about stigma – what it is, why we do it, how it impacts people with disabilities, and how to stop it.

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About Holland Bloorview

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is a leader in helping young people with disabilities and their families to build resilience and achieve a world of boundless possibilities. Our research, inventions, and evidence-informed practice guidelines impact the lives of children and youth around the globe. Our efforts are guided by a goal to lead and model social change by advancing awareness and deep acceptance of disability as part of diversity.

Holland Bloorview is also an academic hospital fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. We focus on improving the lives of kids with disabilities, kids needing rehabilitation after illness or trauma, and kids whose medical complexity requires specialized care. We serve nearly 7,500 children and youth annually, accounting for more than 1,000 unique diagnoses. We serve families from across Ontario, Canada in our inpatient units and specialized medical clinics, and provide outpatient therapy, life skills and recreation programming for families in the Greater Toronto area.

Read the hospital's anti-stigma position paper .

DOWNLOAD POSITION PAPER

About Dear Everybody

Why is Holland Bloorview launching this movement? We are launching this movement to end stigma faced by kids and young adults with disabilities. We want to help people re-think their understanding of disability and change their day-to-day behaviours in areas such as education, employment, friendship and health care to ensure all children and youth feel like they belong in society. This supports the hospital’s vision to create the most meaningful and healthy lives for all children, youth and families.

"As a kids’ hospital, we feel strongly that you can’t care for a child’s health without thinking about their future," says Julia Hanigsberg, president and CEO of Holland Bloorview. "We have an important role to change minds about disability. We see the strengths that come from a more inclusive and accessible society. We believe in a world of no boundaries, and it’s time to build it together as allies."

How will an open letter help end stigma? The letter starts the conversation that won’t start itself. It amplifies the voices of kids and youth with disabilities who ask and answer questions and tackle misconceptions head-on. The letter, along with the hospital’s anti-stigma position paper, tip sheets and other resources, helps empower the general public to contribute to ending the cycle of stigma and adjust their attitudes and behaviours.

How was Dear Everybody developed? The campaign was developed in collaboration with the kids and youth of Holland Bloorview. It was critical that their voices were central to the campaign and that it amplified their words and experiences. The campaign was also supported by families, front line clinicians, client and family centred care experts, scientists, and others, and was a partnership with our pro-bono agency partner KBS. The advertising is supported by over $1 million in donated media space from media companies across the Greater Toronto Area and nationally, including an ongoing partnership with Rogers Media.

Who should pay attention to Dear Everybody? Everybody. We need to end stigma for young people with disabilities in all areas of life, from the classroom to the workplace, the playground to the hospital. The campaign is meant to support parents, kids, employers, public policy makers, educators, health-care providers and allies.

How can people get involved in Dear Everybody?

How can I connect with the Dear Everybody team? Please contact us at [email protected] .

Stigma

Definition

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Brandon Chu
GM, Platform @shopify. Still a PM at ❤️.

All high functioning teams must prioritize. Not once a month, not once a week — but .

Prioritization means doing the things that are most important first. If you build products, it means doing the things that create the most customer value first.

In my experience, the craft of making prioritization decisions is one of the most difficult skills to impart on teams because of how complex those decisions can become, and while it’s usually a core responsibility of product managers, I’ve found that the best teams are the ones where is maniacally prioritizing towards the same goal, and doing so in a way that’s consistent with each other.

This post is about a framework to think about prioritization.

A Framework for Prioritization

Prioritization in product management can be broken down into two scopes:

As we’ll see, the way we should tackle each of these scopes is very different. The reason is because they are each driving at different types of decisions.

When prioritizing between projects, you have to make one big decision: The right way to approach this turns out to be like completing a puzzle. Apply a rigorous process to find all the pieces, and the answer is in how they all fit together.

When prioritizing work within a project, you have to make the same decision hundreds of times: The right way to approach this is by accepting the chaotic nature of building products, and then develop a ruthless mindset to make quick decisions about what’s absolutely necessary.

Prioritizing betweenprojects

Answering this question may require rigour, but the process isn’t complicated:

I’m going to assume most of these concepts aren’t new to readers, so we’re going to go through them pretty quickly.

1. Estimate Return on Investment

The basis for all project prioritization is return on investment (ROI), which is measured as the amount of customer value your team creates for a unit of time. Your goal with prioritizationis to

In order to prioritize between projects, you need to estimate two data points:

Once you have this data for each project, you can simply compare them all and then  — you have your priorities.

Prioritization between projects  Prioritizing work within a project

Of course, it’s notoriously difficult to estimate both impact and effort, but assuming you have an equal chance of being wrong each time you estimate, then as a comparative exercise calculating ROI is a legitimate method of project prioritization.

2. Apply Constraints

Since life isn’t as orderly as a spreadsheet, there are also that you need to factor into your prioritization decisions. The core constraints you have to deal with are dependencies, timelines, and team composition.

Dependencies

A dependency is created when a unit of work needs to be complete in order for another unit of work to progress.

Say you’re on the mobile team and you want to create a seamless one-tap payments button for customers on their phones. You’ve identified this is the highest ROI project, so you want to do it asap.

However, to do that, your company actually needs to have the ability to accept payments in the first place, which another team is working on now. The dependency on the other team finishing means you can’t really do anything yet, so the correct prioritization decision is to delay the one-tap feature and

Dependencies are everywhere when building products, and it gets worse the more successful your product becomes, as scale creates more complex systems. In larger companies, understanding and working around dependencies are often the most vital dimensions to prioritizing.

As an aside, most people think startups are fast because they work harder and are more ambitious. The truth is that most of the speed difference comes from having far fewer dependencies (and few customers to upset if something screws up), so it’s just easier to get stuff done.

There are times when you have a project that will really help other teams to achieve their goals. You are the dependency in this case.

If you’re optimizing for the company’s ROI above your product’s— which you should be — you’ll now need to assess the of not just your project, but the dependent projects that you unblock in order to make the correct prioritization decision for your team.

Whenever I see teams working to unblock other teams they earn a lot of respect from me, and it signals maturity in their product thinking. These teams are the unsung heroes of product companies, and are the ones who provide the most leverage for a company.

Timelines

Timelines are the canonical constraint, one we’ve all experienced. A particularly serious one is when your startup will run out of cash and die before the highest ROI feature will ship.

When this happens, the correct prioritization decision of course is to do the highest ROI project that is achievable within the timeframe.

Team composition

Not all teams are equal, and sometimes the composition of the specific people on your team means that you will need to make different prioritization decisions about which project to take on.

An example is having a team that is full of brand new people to the company, like a gaggle of interns (no disrespect to interns, 50% of all software is built by them).

In these situations you should be wary of prioritizing a project that has a lot of risks to customers, Instead, you’ll often be better off prioritizing a project that doesn’t touch any critical code or user experience journeys, because then the magnitude of a bad outcomes are diminished.

Help newbie teams get their feet wet first by shipping small wins. Once they have a few production features under their belt, they can progress towards more complex projects.

Prioritizing between projects: Complete the puzzle and get towork

I’m trivializing the amount of work it takes to gather all the information above, but once you have it all, you just have put the pieces together.

Prioritizing work within aproject

The nature of prioritization is different during the execution of a project. It’s chaotic. Decisions are needed everyday, and you don’t have time analyze each one as deeply as we did when prioritizing between projects. It’s also a more emotional time for a team, as real customers are going to be impacted, and their reputation may feel on the line.

The only way to combat the speed and chaos of building products is to develop a ruthless mindset , one that is constantly aware of the work a team is doing and challenges them on the necessity of that work.

Having a ruthless mindset meansaccepting reality. It’s a realization that you will have to make hard choices every day on where to focus. It’s a realization that shipping the perfect product is an illusion, and that trade-offs are always required to ship.

Having a ruthless mindset is about the will to ship. Stakeholder and customer expectations create enormous pressure on teams, and as a result they are often afraid to ship. They start sweating tiny issues so much that they’re frozen into inaction. They start losing sight of what matters, customer value created over time, and start trying to be perfect.

In reality, the chaotic nature of prioritizing work within a project means that defining a process around it is foolhardy. A more productive strategy is to help teams internalize product development concepts that aid them in ruthlessly answering Here are the one’s we’ll cover in the remainder of this post:

1. Building prioritization systems

All software is a liability. It has bugs now, and it will develop more over time. When faced with a new bug, if your team can’t quickly figure out if they should fix it or not, their ability to focus on the most important work will be constantly disrupted.

You can’t afford to have a prioritization meeting every time a bug pops up, so one of the highest leverage things you can do is to create a system that determines when to fix bugs or when to move on.

Here’s an example of one that I’ve found productive for my teams:

The X axis represents the frequency that a bug affects users, and the Y axis represents the severity of that bug. A red dot is a bug.

To use this system, work with your team to define what level of severity is (in this case, that users can’t pay) and which level of frequency is (in this case, 5% of users affected). Then, agree on a set of actions given which zone the bug falls, with at least one of those actions being put in the backlog and do nothing.

If you invest in this, your team will be a bug triaging machine, and the chance of someone working on a low value bug will be systematically removed.

2. Using product assumptions to make quality vs. speed tradeoffs

You’ll often hear about shitty code written by founders in the early days of a product. As the company became successful, this code created nightmares for new engineers joining the team.

Were the founders poor programmers? Maybe. But more likely than not, they didn’t care much about code quality at the time because the product was unlikely to succeed. Instead, they cared about speed and validating their idea.

In order to ship, every team invariably makes some sacrifices to quality. Teams have to choose when enough is enough, and that comes down to a prioritization decision about what is essential to the quality of a product.

Here’s a useful way to guide yourself to the right spot on the spectrum of speed vs. quality: base it around your product assumptions Product assumptions are fundamental beliefs that you hold about a customer problem, or the solution you’re building for them.

A simple example from the early days of Facebook would have been the problem assumption that. Once that problem was validated, they then thought of product ideas like which is a solution assumption about how to solve that problem.

If you think about your product, there are three situations you can be in with respect to these product assumptions:

When you find yourself on the left side of this spectrum, you have an assumption about a customer problem but you don’t know if it’s real. In this situation, you should be cutting corners to ship something as fast as possible, which minimizes the risk that you’ll be trying to solving a problem that doesn’t exist.

On the right end of the spectrum, if there is high confidence in what problem you’re solving and how to build the right solution, then you should maximize quality because you know that feature will be successful and will need to scale well into the future.

You’ll often see companies split teams into those that “experiment” and those that do “core” work. In my opinion, organizational structures like this reflect the inability for most teams to understand the product assumption spectrum, and be able to switch gears towards speed or quality.

3. The Time Value ofShipping

Software only creates value for customersonce it’s shipped.

As such, we should be able to place a value on shipping something faster to customers. This is a concept I wrote about a while ago called Air Cute Classy Pop Color FlipFlops w/White/Black Trim For Women Black/Fuchsia cMf0iMi
.

As an example, a difficult choice product teams often face is whether or not to ship a feature early to 80% of the customer base, while delaying the feature for the last 20%. This choice typically arises when building the final 20% requires a lot of niche functionality, which takes double the time to build (as the first 80%).

Let’s break down this choice:

Looking at the diagram, we see that the 80% of customers are enjoying an additional period of getting value in option #1, whereas in option #2 they have to wait. So is it obvious to choose #1? Not exactly, it’s still a hard choice for the team because:

The irony of these two effects is that you will actually have by making the decision to provide to them Strange times we live in.

Despite the above, when faced with this choice I usually encourage teams to be ruthless and ship it. Here’s why:

Placing a value on shipping faster to customers is one of those concepts that is easy to understand, but hard to act on because of pain that comes with it. Ruthless prioritizers will see through this, and act in the best interests of customers.

Prioritizing work within a project: Ruthless mindsets are unnatural

The concepts we’ve covered are only what experience has taught me are worth internalizing. There are more, and you tweak these with your own based on your experiences.

Sadly, most teams in the industry aren’t incentivized to be ruthless prioritizers, despite it being a core meme of product companies.

For example, in larger organizations, teams are shipping features all the time and most employees don’t even hear about a launch until customers do. In that environment, do you think employees can see that their teammates managed to ship 3x faster than others in their place would have? Likely not. Instead, they only see what’s missing in the product, even though all those shortcomings were by their teammates.

In contrast, a perfectly polished product tends to receive a lot of praise internally. Too bad it took two years to ship. Too bad we rarely think about all the customers that churned because they never thought it would come.

Challenge your team to be better. Challenge them to be ruthless.

Prioritization is acraft

Your team’s time is the most precious resource a company has at it’s disposal, and if part of your job is to direct that time, you need to become great at it. It’s a craft, and one that you can deliberately get better at with practice.

I’d like to leave you with one last truth about prioritization: there is always a way to accomplish your goal faster than you currently plan to.

Always. You just have to find it. You just have to ask, “at the end of that planning meetingand miraculously — the team will find a way.

After years of shipping products, I have yet to come across a situation where a team was unable to figure out how to create the same customer value with less time invested. I also have never come across a situation where a team ended up prioritizing things perfectly, which reinforces the same idea.

If you accept that there’s always a way, the only logical thing to do is to be ruthlessly and rigorously prioritizing, whether you’re executing a project now, or you’re deciding which project to take on next.

Even if your project is an entire country.

Before you go, some things to consider:

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Presentation workshops to make you effective every day Strategic videos for when you need to take it further

BRINGING THE POWER OF MOVIES TO CORPORATIONS WITH AND WITHOUT THE CAMERA

I started Backstories because, as a corporate professional, I saw so much good work go to waste and so many smart people lose their sense of purpose - all because they were lost in the clutter of charts.

I wanted to help them, and I knew I had a better way.

Because as a film professional, I know that movies and the way they tell stories - simple, quick, visual, emotional - can give managers and directors something more powerful, something that embodies everything execs want from "storytelling."

So in my workshops and videos, I help them take their information and ideas to a whole new level - so they can get seen, get heard, and get buy-in.

TED FRANK

Story Strategist

While my workshops apply to all kinds of communication, here's where my videos are especially effective.

HERE ARE THE AREAS IN MY WHEELHOUSE
Consumer insights Strategy Sales meetings and bios Executive vision Corporate communication
Presentation training Onboarding Company histories and profiles High-level presentations Success stories
MOVIE STORYTELLING POWER, EVEN WITHOUT THE CAMERA

Video is only one part of it. There are literally dozens of movie storytelling strategies you can bring to your presentations, from the way you approach a chart to the way you move your feet when you speak.

One big difference in my workshops is that I use your existing presentations as examples in the exercises, so attendees feel the difference instantaneously and come away with immediate value.

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BRANDS I'VE WORKED WITH

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"This will be an absolutely crucial tool in helping us make sure that the business understands our customers and just how important they are."

-Anna Sulzmann, Senior Manager, Global CRM Strategy, eBay

-Anna Sulzmann, Sr. Mgr., Global CRM Strategy, eBay

"The movies helped the session go amazingly well. The dramatic intro movie, in particular, drew a lot of spontaneous 'ooo's' from the crowd. You totally knocked it out of the park!"

-Dave Decelle, Director Consumer Insights, Netflix

American-Canadian Genealogical Society

Founded in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1973, the Society is here to serve your genealogical research needs.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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We hope everyone will feel free to share small demonstrations, collaborate, and learn with and from each other. While we’re all in learning mode, after the Fall introductory meetings, we will go on hiatus in December.

Location ACGS Library 4 Elm Street, Manchester, NH

Location

Dates Saturday, April 14th 10am – 12:30pm

Recommended Reading:
by Blaine T. Bettinger, Ph.D, J.D.
Recommended Website:
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Cost Members: Free Non-Members: $5.00 Registration Not Required

Please bring your laptop!

Granger: New York, NY

NEW PUBLICATION

ENGLISH CAPTIVES PRISONERS REMAINING IN NEW FRANCE

Their story of capture and survival in Quebec by Professor Roger W. Lawrence

Professor Lawrence spent 30 years researching the captives of New England taken during the French and Indian War. Much has been published about these captives but Roger was compelled to find new details from contemporary sources. He has examined, extracted, and translated vital information in marriage contracts for those captives or prisoners who were assimilated into the French Colony. This is an excellent research tool for New England colonial descendants as well as for French-Canadian descendants of these captives. Some of the English ancestry goes back to Royalty and Nobility.

NEW – View the Table of Contents byclicking .

To order ENGLISH CAPTIVES PRISONERS REMAINING IN NEW FRANCE by Professor Roger W. Lawrence, download the order form . _____________________________________________________________________________________

Catherine de Baillon

In 1999, we were fortunate in having the opportunity to publish an excellent article on the well researched line of Catherine de Baillon: René Jetté, John P. DuLong, Roland-Yves Gagné, and Gail F. Moreau. “From Catherine Baillon to Charlemagne.” American-Canadian Genealogist 25:4 (Fall 1999): 170-200.

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