This was a remarkable TED talk in so many ways. Firstly, the main “speaker” cannot speak and communicates via a computerised voice from his Apple Laptop. Secondly, there were actually four people on the stage, his wife and two others who read out his words for much of the “talk”.
Ebert tells us about his story, of developing cancer and then having a number of serious bleeds from his carotid artery which should, by rights, have killed him, but which he survived. This left this great film critic and communicator without a voice. He was able though, using new technology, to have a voice which we could hear in the talk.
More than this, the developments of the digital age, Facebook, Twitter and Blogging have given Ebert a means to communicate..as he says in the talk, it has allowed him to write and communicate all over the world and to be treated as an equal since on the net we are all invisible and therefore disability is not apparent.
This was a very emotional talk..and especially in the way that Ebert uses mime to express his feelings and shows us only too plainly just how much his wife Chaz has helped him and just how much they mean to each other. I freely admit to having cried as I watched this. It resonates so much about the human spirit, about the need to communicate and how the digital age, although it has many drawbacks, also has such power to liberate us and to allow many of us, for so many different reasons, to have a voice.
I shall be adding this as the 18th Talk in My Top Ted Talks post. In many ways it is one of the most remarkable yet.