Monday, April 19, 2010

How We Do (Or How UAID is like Roomba)

A few years ago, the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner became available. Essentially, directions were to remove impediments such as cords, furniture, and other objects, set it on the floor, and let it go to work. It would start vacuuming in one direction, and then when it ran into something, it would change vectors and continue until it ran into something else. Not nearly as cool as the droids most people imagine completing such a task, but eventually it got the job done.

I wish I could said that UAID is like a droid rather than a Roomba, that we had all the knowledge and connections necessary to methodically accomplish our goals. Truthfully, though, we've run into a lot of impediments and had to change vectors. At first, many people thought we were crazy (and we are), or they couldn't imagine that we'd find the resources we needed. We've also had a lot of people help remove cords so that we could at least get better access to the next wall (Steve Safferman and Denise Maybank come to mind). Sometimes we've been able to go great distances before having to change direction, and sometimes we end up in a tight corner where it seems like all we're doing is bumping our heads.

Even in that tight corner, though, we're adjusting, learning, and cleaning some floor along the way. Of course we hope to find more direct methods to achieve our goals, but we're not above being Roombas for now. We hope that you'll join us in the task, although it means accepting some hard knocks occasionally.

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