Sunday, 20 December 2009

walking in a winter wonderland ??

Ah it is that time of year again where we have everything from rain and sleet to full on ice and snow. Yes i agree very pretty and certainly helps you get into the christmas mood and i would normally get very excited. HOWEVER this year is different instead of being able to enjoy this christmassy weather i have basically become house bound because of it and it is not only me i have many other frineds in simlar positions to myself who are now scared to leave the house incase they fall. You may ask what is wrong with a little slip it happens to everyone but with many cases where the person already has an injury a little slip can cause serious damage.

You see there is one flaw with the humble crutch the feet are absolutly useless in bad weather such as this, as a resul they slide from underneith you leaveing you helpless when you are already unsteady on your feet ! It is hard enough to stay upright in this weather when you are able let alone when you have an impairment. Anyway i can tell you i shall be taking to my garage over the next few days to see what i can modify so i will keep you posted on that one ! One of the things i have found most ironic is the drop pavemenets which are essential to so many people are often an area that get missed when it comes to the council throwing down grit !! How this makes sense i do not know, view please =)

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Photo Shoot

I had an amazing photo shoot with some models yesterday to get images for building an image campaign. There were 2 concepts these were:

  • Disability is not a crime – this involved people in a police line up setting. There cards state their disability over the crime which they have committed with the aiming of emphasising societies attitudes against these sub groups. I was careful here to also include a balance of psychological and physical disabilities. The models were very good and were able to perfectly portray the suitable emotions via facial expressions and also with the way which they held their card/or societal label.

  • I have also been playing with an adaption on this image having had one of the more outgoing boys play around with his crutches almost like it is an air guitar. This way it helps to add a bit of humour while attracting attention and emphasising that the person’s personality does not change whether they are disabled or not. To reflect this the intended tag line was going to be ‘Still the same person!’

  • The second is a contrasting side by side shot. This involved taking photos of a model in the back brace and not in the brace in similar poses. The model and brace were styled in a way that the brace was not made as obvious. The intended tag line for this is going to be ‘Would you treat this person the same?’ Its objective is to get the public to stop and consider what their actions and reactions would be. To make them look at the person closely to notice the difference.

What do you guys think of these approaches? I was going to put the posters up as soon as their done but feedback now would be ace =)

Monday, 14 December 2009

PTSD - are women more pron or are we just more open about it ?

The problem that often occurs in the diagnosis of PTSD is that there is more than 1 method of assessment and so the same person can be diagnosed differently depending on the professional they see. This does not say that any of these methods are wrong, this is a very personal area and there is no objective index for its measurement. This just means that there are different interpretations to a diagnosis. You may find you tick 6 out of the 9 symptom boxes that relate to PTSD but not have PTSD.

It is a well known fact that more women are diagnosed with PTSD than men; however I’m not so sure that means females are more likely to have it. I think it’s more a case that females are more open to discussing how they feel and turning for help. So it may be the case that there are just as many men and women with PTSD and other mental disorders however it is recorded that there are more women just because they are more vocal about things. What do you think?

Quote of the Week...

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together”

Vincent van Gough

This quote certainly makes a good point and who better to say it than Mr van Gough himself. I think what can be taken from this quote is that Even the biggest of projects can be broken down into more manageable chunks. I also think that it demonstrates that sometimes it is better to split a big project down into smaller subcategories which are not only easier to manage and research but to also ensure that all key areas are covered. Although the most important thing to do with this would be to remember to keep referring your work back to the main project titles, aims and objectives.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

PTSD - part 2

It can be said that PTSD is the ‘sexy’ psychological disorder, it is more socially acceptable. It is almost like it is not your fault because it is the impact of the incident upon you rather than yourself…if that makes sense. For example since the earthquake in Pakistan around 40-60% of people involved have now been diagnosed with PTSD, this is huge uptake. I do feel that maybe a chunk of this percentage already had some form of psychological problem and were to ashamed to admit it however now its deemed as acceptable. This is not to say that those involved haven’t been through a huge amount of trauma.

I find it quite concerning, this need to shift blame or that it is shameful to have a problem. I found it good news today to hear that depression is now going to be treated as serious as heart disease on the NHS, however I think we often miss the point its not always how quick its treated etc its societies attitudes and stigmas. There are so many people out there who feel they cant speak out about their experiences and issues for fear of judgment to truly help each other and improve society we need to address these things first !

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Quote of the Week...

“Good design begins with honesty, asks tough questions, comes from collaboration and trusting your intuition.”

Freeman Thomas

I think this is one of the hardest things you can do as a designer. To stare yourself in the face and dig down under that perfectly polished surface that you have to protect you. To analyse what you are doing is right? What do you believe? However it highlights that personal experience stands for a lot when it comes to design – something that i feel very strongly about. I believe you can’t design a product if you don’t live it and who you are designing for. If you don’t do this then you risk designing a product based on secondary research and preconceptions. There is only so much people will tell you in focus groups. This is where collaboration can also come in, we need to learn from others and their experiences as much as we need to share our own in the design process.

PTSD - a definition...

Ok so first things first what is post traumatic stress disorder? I had a really interesting meeting with a specialist in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) the other week. Professor David Alexander is one of the most highly regarded professionals in the UK in this field – and very lovely man I might add !

He explained to me that only around 10-18% of RTA (road traffic accidents) casualties get PTSD. PTSD is more commonly linked to larger catastrophic incidents such as earthquakes’ and the likes of the 9/11 bombings. He himself had not long come back from helping with the earthquake victims in India and also has a large wealth of experience in working with soldiers.

What he taught me was that there is a lot of confusion between what is known as PTSD and PTSS (post traumatic stress symptoms). PTSS consists mainly of 3 psychological pathogens these are:

1) Depression

2) Anxiety

3) Subsance abuse

Where PTSS crosses into PTSD is where there is the addition of other less controllable factors such as flash backs and hyper arousal. This is not to say that PTSS cannot have the same impact on a persons lifestyle. I suppose what I’m getting at here is that people are more willing to admit they have PTSD over any other mental issue.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Fixing mechanisms

I came across this new hand a wrist brace, ironically I then receive an email a day later from my lecturer also recommending I look at it so obviously great minds think alike =P

I love the way that it fixes on, the ability to customise it and make it your own automatically gives it an element of social acceptability. In addition its waterproof which means no more messing about with the dreaded ‘scuba Steve’ clear plastic bags when you want to wash!

The aspect of water sport/exercise could also make physiotherapy easier ie hydrotherapy as it helps to take weight off of the limbs so if you have a problems with walking it means you can focus more on what your legs are doing and less about staying upright or not falling over.