Blue Badge Style a guide for a less able, stylish lifestyle, has launched a free mobile application for iPhone and Android (Blackberry app is on it's way). The app is aimed at stylish people with mobility issues (initially in London). The application identifies 'cool' venues near your location and uses its bespoke tick rating system to grade them on style, accessibility and facilities. The team plans to expand the Blue Badge Style offering throughout the UK and then the major European cities.
Founder Fiona Jarvis explains “mobility, or the lack of it, doesn’t mean that I’ve lost my sense of style, but I do want to know what to expect before I arrive at a venue. The Blue Badge Style app means that people with limited mobility and equally importantly, their friends, don’t have to be surprised or embarrassed by a lack of accessibility or facilities at a cool venue. It’s freedom shared!”
The Blue Badge Style app has been jointly developed by Stuxbot and UCL Advances, who offered to help at a recent UCL Mobile Academy course, believing the idea to be one which would improve the lives of people with disabilities. There are plans to introduce a Text To Speech version for the Blind. The aim is for Blue Badge Style to eventually include all disabilities.
As the UK population ages, people with temporary or permanent mobility issues are on the increase. Blue Badge Style estimates from government statistics, that up to 300,000 people in London have mobility issues. Founder, Fiona Jarvis wants to tap into this to create a community of like-minded people for whom style and disability are not mutually exclusive, and encourage them to rate their favourite restaurants, bars, shops, cafes, theatres etc. on Blue Badge Style. The tick rating system scores out of 5 for each category: 1.Access, 2.Facilities and 3.Style, so that users know exactly what to expect from each venue.
Fiona explains “Most people at some point in their life will experience periods of being less able. A sense of style does not diminish when this happens. If anything, it becomes more important”. She continues, “Style is the overriding premise of the website and app, along with a positive outlook on life. With this app you can easily see the best places near you, read our review, check the Blue Badge Style rating and get directions on how to get there. We’re also encouraging like-minded people to post their own reviews. We believe that decreased mobility need not stop you from enjoying a stylish life”.
*Social Media Strategist is currently providing Blue Badge Style with marketing support & user experience consultancy