On Thursday night, I went to the 33rd Accessibility London meetup to watch 2 brilliant speakers.
Yvette Bordley showcased some of the fascinating work Parkinsons UK is doing to transform their information and support services. They’ve been carrying out research and co-design to better serve the needs of people with Parkinson's, and their loved ones.
Next, Jean-Luc Sorak talked about the experience of being neurodivergent at work in the tech industry, and what we can do to design better products for a neurodiverse audience.
In both talks, the speakers talked about their own personal experiences, which was moving, and brave of them.
Working on a new blog post
I haven’t had much time for blogging since I started in my new role, but the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on a pair-written post with Simon, who I worked with at GDS.
Before joining GDS, Simon worked on the local design system for the Ministry of Justice. We’ve had lots of conversations between us about the best way to connect central and local design systems within large organisations, and we decided to write something.
We’ve set ourselves a deadline of 29 February to publish something—so watch this space!
Parkinson's is more than tremors
From Yvette’s talk at Accessibility London, I learned that Parkinson’s disease has more symptoms than the tremors we typically associate with it.
Depression and anxiety, speech changes and muscle stiffness are just some of the additional symptoms people with Parkinson’s might experience—and the medication used to treat it often carry their own unpleasant side effects.
Seeing The Strokes
On Wednesday night, we went to see The Strokes at Camden Roundhouse, and it was everything I hoped it would be.
I was a big fan of them in my teens, but I never got to see them live, so it was a long-held dream fulfilled.
The only downside to an otherwise fantastic experience was that they were about half an hour late starting. And there was just something about standing in a tightly packed venue at 9:45pm, yawning and calculating how many hours of sleep I’d be getting, that made me realise I’m firmly not in my 20s anymore.
I’m not feeling top of my game this week, for a multitude of reasons.
I’ve got too much going on—both at work and personally. And while my confidence and understanding of my new role is definitely on the increase, there’s still lots to take in and plenty of challenges to contend with.
All of this has contributed to a noticeable dip in my resilience. I’ve found myself feeling disproportionately disheartened by things I don’t understand, and more affected by challenges to my decisions than I normally would.
I’m also forgetting things—a lot. Luckily for me I write all of my work tasks and commitments down, but I’ve been double booking social plans left, right and centre, and repeatedly entering rooms or picking up my phone, only to immediately forget what I was looking for.
I’m resolving to have a restful weekend, and to take things a bit easier next week to get me back on track.
Presenting our work at the company stand up
On Monday I presented our work to colleagues at the company standup. It’s an important opportunity to update the business on the progress, and with our founder watching—I have to say it was a little daunting.
But preparing it forced me to think about our squad’s mission in the most basic terms, so that I could communicate it simply to those without detailed knowledge of design systems.
I got good feedback on the presentation, and a fair few follow up questions afterwards from people who hadn’t heard about the work before.
It feels good to be making things open.
Things I read, watched and listened to
- Accessibility London #33
- This moving piece by Aisling Bea on how her father’s death has given her an appreciation for the hidden vulnerability of men
- How leaders can open up to their teams without oversharing