Fiona Jarvis, founder of Blue Badge Style, the first app and online guide to a stylish lifestyle for the less-physically-able, has been profiled on Bright Shiny News. In the interview, for the Inspiring Women section of the website, Jarvis talks about how she has overcome the difficulty of needing a wheelchair and continues to live stylishly.
Bright Shiny News is an online woman's magazine who's main purpose in life is to entertain readers with bright shiny things! The inspiring women section profiles a different successful businesswoman every week. The article, written by Monique Fok, talks about Jarvis' life experience: from working in the city to being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and on to setting up Blue Badge Style.
Fok writes: "It is actually an understatement to say that Fiona survived the MS bombshell; Not only has she won the battle beautifully, but she has also established the Blue Badge Style, which provides a website and app guide to the stylish lifestyle for everyone, including people with disability."
Blue Badge Style is the only company that looks at disability from the point of view of style & design, taking a stylish, pragmatic and cost-efficient approach to inclusive access, working with venue management teams, designers and architects to improve the awareness of disabled facilities. “Style is the overriding premise of Blue Badge Style, along with a positive outlook” says Fiona Jarvis, “disability need not stop you from enjoying the good things in life!”.
The Blue Badge Style website provides style advice to the less-physically-able. Whether it's the best places to eat and drink, fashion tips or interviews with other stylish less-able people, it can all be found at Blue Badge Style.
The Blue Badge Style free app is the first and only app to give you information on where to go near you based on not only how stylish the place is but how accessible it is for disabled customers.The app works as a” Michelin-like” star system for the less able. It identifies cool venues near your location and uses a bespoke three tick rating system to grade it out of 5 for each category: 1.Access, 2.Facilities and 3.Style, so that users know exactly what to expect from each venue. You can then easily see the best places near you, read a review, check the Blue Badge Style rating and get directions on how to get there.
Fashion Designer and style icon, Simon Carter explains, “This app can quickly locate stylish restaurants and bars that are nearby. It also warns you if there is a problem with disabled access or facilities. I’m able bodied and I’m going to use it!”.
Notes to Editors
About the Stylish Less-Physically-Able Market
The Family Resources Survey (FRS) 2010/11 states that 19% of the UK population suffer from some form of long-term disability (11.5m). There are also an estimated 6 million carers. This does not include temporarily disabled people, their families, friends or unregistered carers.
The annual spending power of disabled adults in Britain covered by the DDA is estimated at £80 billion per year – (DRC - Disability in Scotland 2004: Key Facts and Figures – 2005).
33% of people aged 50-64 in Britain have a disability – (Labour Market Trends report, April 2005). 80% of UK wealth is in the hands of people aged over 45 – (Age Profiling: Monitoring the make-up of your workforce", DWP, 2006).
The Blue Badge Style network is estimated to have a potential on line community of 1.5m stylish, cash rich and loyal visitors, spending £1.7Bn per year on restaurants and hotels alone (FRS 2010/11). Some figures put the disability market value at £86Bn in 2012. The disability equipment market is valued at £1.46Bn (DLF/ Plimsoll figs 2008). We estimate 10% of these markets are people who regard themselves as ‘stylish
Join the Blue Badge Style community
Blue Badge Style warmly welcomes everyone who is interested and willing to contribute and invites review submissions via the mobile app. Here are various ways you can join us:
Fiona Jarvis established the Blue Badge Style website in 2007 in an attempt to create a community of like-minded people for whom style and disability are not mutually exclusive. She first realised she might have multiple sclerosis after falling off her high heels in a bar once too often. She has become progressively disabled over a period of 20 years whilst she worked in the City selling multi million pound software systems for the like of SAP. However, Fiona has always refused to compromise on her own style, whether that’s eating in smart restaurants, wearing elegant clothes or going on glamorous holidays. Through all the challenges, Fiona has carried on and not compromised on style. She embodies the BBS Spirit! Just as Coco Chanel said: “Fashion fades; only style remains the same”.
About Blue Badge Style
The Blue Badge Style website and mobile app are currently building a community whose core ethos is 'freedom shared'. However, Blue Badge Style also offers a number of additional services:
Blue Badge Style Tick Rating
The unique BBS Tick Rating System is designed to encourage venues to provide Equality of Access to Goods & Services. We rate out of 5 for each category: 1.Access, 2.Facilities and 3.Style. The scores are then aggregated to a number of BBS Ticks from 0.5 to a maximum of 3. Our aim is for ‘as recommended by Blue Badge Style’ to become an aspirational goal for any item, organisation or establishment.
Whatever you wish to do, be it go to Paris, visit the Tate, stay at a boutique hotel, or check out the latest nightclub, BBS will arrange and advise on the best way to do this.
BBS campaigns highlight where the ‘equal provisions of goods and services are unreasonably deficient’. The intention is to act as an agent for change, altering venues’ mind-set toward accessibility. It needs to be treated as the ‘norm’, rather than something a venue is compelled to do by legislation.
We also campaign for the better design of disability products, which currently look like they are from the Marquis de Sade’s basement!
Pictorial Access Descriptions (PADs)
BBS offers PADs for all hospitality venues. They are social media ready descriptions of the facilities &/or obstacles within a venue. They look at comfort rather than compliance and are as cool as the venue’s website, allowing potential customers to make an informed choices about whether to visit.