Molly Barrett - Biography
Following her childhood near the North Downs, Molly Barrett studied in Norwich, graduating in graphic design as well as eventually settling there, and taking her folk music a step further in the great singing pubs. Writing has always been there in the background for Molly, be it copy-writing, as an adjunct to the work of a self employed jobbing designer, or a keenly phrased letters of protest and the occasional song. There is more to follow. As a degenerative impairment has made itself more apparent Molly has become aware of the poverty of access to necessary information, hence creating this website www.showmetheaccess.co.uk
This website is about making information about accessibility of goods, services and venues much more immediate.
Currently the search is not only frustrating and time-consuming, and therefore costly, but proves to be a barrier to inclusion in the workplace, education, and any other aspect of life you can imagine.
The idea is simple. A site hosting web links to video. The aim is a resource for not only people with impairments, and people who provide the services to them, such as hotels, airports, shops, dentists, etc, but also facilitators such as occupational therapists, support workers, teachers, hard-pressed family members, and others. Links to video on sites such as YouTube or Vimeo or myhotelvideo will be uploaded by the experts, i.e. the people who know about access, who are the people with impairments themselves; or by the professionals e.g. OTs and social workers; or by the providers, e.g. manufacturers, retailers, venue managers. This is not to forget the inclusion of the written word too, making it accessible to screen readers and search engines, as well as to deaf people. Audio commentary describing the action would also be extremely valuable, as would signing. In time, it is proposed to include the capability of people to file reviews of the items, as well as of the helpfulness of the videos.
The Chocolate Teapot and the Guillemot Egg - musings on some fundamental principles of design.
Recently I received a gift of some gorgeous planet-friendly shower gel that smells good enough to eat. Like the great majority of such eco products, it came packed in a nice recyclable cylindrical plastic bottle. I'm canny by now at this stage in the game and so I carefully decanted it into my now empty bottle from the supermarket-bought "mainstream" gel.
When I'm out on the road and pick up a small bottle of mineral water people might think I'm picky, searching through the different brands on offer. I am not even fussed whether it's still or fizzy, I'm just looking for a square bottle.
Most of you will know what I'm on about by now: the hazards and frustration that ensue when something rolls on the floor.
As always, it is no bad idea to look at what nature does. The guillemot's egg is something the parent wants to keep close to it, especially since they tend to lay their eggs on bare cliffs. The precise shape of the guillemot's egg above all others prevents it rolling long distances but instead keeps it moving in a tight circle.
On the other hand, it's reasonable to surmise that apples and oranges have the capacity to roll away from the parent tree, so aiding the process of dispersing the seeds. Which is precisely why it is a good idea to keep your grocery shopping well restrained heading home by car – the last thing you need is a piece of fruit jammed under your brake pedal!
Universal design is a noble goal, and one of the basic parameters is safety. Being mindful of the hazards of things that roll being used by people with obstructed or impaired vision or balance should be towards the top of that safety list. Someone who could devise hexagonal AA and AAA batteries to fit existing devices would be doing us all a favour, just like the nameless heroes who introduced holes into the design of caps of felt tip pens. Unlike chocolate, they don't melt in the mouth, and this clever modification reduces the danger of children choking on them.