#DeafNation: How My Flight Back to DFW Brought Me to the Irving Expo

Photo comprised of four rectangle photos with snaps showing fun different poses of myself, Kris Rivenburgh, with Melissa Keomoungkhoun and Amanda Craner of Sorenson in a dark blue light room.

As I was waiting for my flight back to DFW to board, I saw three women signing to each other.

When I went to my seat, one of them was right next to me and I wrote her a message on my phone to ask, “Will it bother you if I turn on the reading light?”

She wrote back, no, and added that I reminded her of Elon Musk with my mask on.

We wrote a few more exchanges and I asked if VRS had improved.

The look on her face was pure shock.

She asked me how I knew about that and I explained that I work in digital accessibility (in July I wrote about the FCC needing to up the ante on funding for VRS after Amanda Tuite alerted me to the situation).

It turns out I was talking to Melissa Keomoungkhoun, Marketing Events Coordinator for Sorenson. Sorenson is the leading provider of Video Relay Services (VRS).

Anyway, Melissa invited me to the #DeafNation expo in Irving and I ended up going and meeting the Sorenson team including:

  • Amanda Craner, Marketing Events Manager (pictured with Melissa and I in the blue room)
  • Jenni Yang-Chambers, Marketing Events Coordinator

I also met some of Melissa’s friends and a host of other people.

All of them were super nice and I have an open invite to visit Sorenson in Salt Lake City.

And, if you want to get even more brutally honest, the event was quite enjoyable — it was a very welcoming atmosphere with great energy and everyone I ran into was friendly.

As I was walking through the booths, the Keller Williams reps insisted that I partake in their free stuff.

I went for it and got a snack for my dogs.

Herbs will finally get to have this treat now that I’ve written this post.

Thanks to Liz & Bentley at the Keller Williams booth.

Anyway, that’s it. I just wanted to relay a cool story from 18 days ago and tell everyone #DeafNation is a great visit.

The next expo is Kissimmee, Florida on November 6, 2021.

You can learn more at DeafNation.com.

Also, thank you to the Sorenson.com team for everything.

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Note going forward: I plan to write on this column more often (at least monthly) but I’ll write mostly “shorts”.

The good part is I’ve written out the long, technical, and boring (but important) stuff already and now I can make my posts more commentary in nature.