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Early Saturday in Austin

By Cheryl Heppner

I can’t believe it’s the last day of the TDI conference already, though my steno pad is almost full of notes from presentations and workshops. And fortunately it is still readable although the pages are fluffed up from an unfortunate little coffee spill.

Galaxy and I were outside for quite a while before sunrise; I couldn’t tear myself away from nature’s show stopper. The sky, at first a deep, dark magnificent shade of blue, made me long to take up photography again as it gained degrees of lightness as a backdrop and above the towering buildings of downtown Austin.

I haven’t written as much as I usually do for our readers, because when I’m not at a workshop or presentation I am preparing for one. TDI Executive Director Claude Stout has kept me busy. I moderated a panel on Thursday and will be on two panels today. Also it seems that every time I go online to start typing things there is a new deluge of email to answer, and I try to screen as much as I can to be sure I don’t miss anything that is time sensitive.

Yesterday was another day of terrific learning and networking. Richard Devylder, Senior Advisor for Accessible Transportation at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) immediately knocked our socks off with his keynote presentation and answered lots of audience questions. I have loved working with him and the changes at DOT since he arrived are astonishing.

Well, off I go to get ready for today’s marathon! I leave the hotel at 4 am tomorrow to head to the airport. 

Claude Stout leads a panel discussion on the recently-submitted "Consumer Groups TRS Policy Statement." Joining him is Cheryl Heppner (NVRC), David Myers (TX DARS), Shane Feldman (NAD) and Lise Hamlin (HLAA).                photo by Paul Rutowski
Richard Devylder, Senior Advisor for Accessible Transportation at the US Department of Transportation