Life and Other Catastrophes

Hi, I’m Megan. Welcome to my corner of the internet. I call it “Life and Other Catastrophes”. Here you’ll find me writing about life as I see it. I discuss everything from inclusion, blindness and low vision, wayfinding and the built environment, braille and adaptive technology, and how society treats people with disability, right through to exercise, employment, and parenthood. Even my love of chocolate cake and strappy heels is up for discussion. So feel free to look around.

Currently I’m working on my PhD which examines how attitudes toward disability are reflected in our public places and spaces. I also run a company called Taylored Thinking. We design simple products, programs and platforms in order for people with disability to see themselves differently.

I also consult with public and private sectors on best practices for building a more inclusive culture and society. I consult with multiple levels of government, not for profit organisations, start-up companies, educational institutions, corporations and small business. My specialties include the built environment, wayfinding, unravelling contradictory priorities and attitudinal factors toward inclusion.

I particularly enjoy giving keynote presentations and facilitating workshops. I occasionally write for other blogs and professional publications. Basically, I’m up for anything, so if you’d like to work with me, please get in contact. To check out my upcoming events and what I’ve been up to lately, go to my media page (coming soon).

I have a condition called Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), which I acquired from birth. Although it didn’t leave me totally blind, I’m not sure how relevant the term “functional vision” applies beyond a strictly medical context. The mere existence of colours, shapes and shadows is not something most people would consider useful. For example, I only recently discovered my second favourite teapot is not yellow after all, but white. This means I have to seriously rethink where it fits into my crockery hierarchy of happiness.

I use a white cane for navigation and mobility, which sometimes doesn’t feel like enough. Reading print is not an option, but I do read braille. I use voice-over on my phone, and text to speech technology called JAWS on my computer. I put bells on our daughter when we’re out, so I can keep track of her more easily, and my husband does the driving. He also proofreads all my work, so any grammatical errors should be directed to him over at M L Darcy.com.

We live in Sydney, close to a train station so I can travel independently. I’m near a supermarket I rarely use, and an ever evolving set of coffee shops I would miss if removed. Hiding out in a funky little cafĂ© no one has discovered with my Bluetooth keyboard, a cappuccino and a set of earphones to hear my writing is one of my favourite pastimes.

I also love running, yoga, scooter riding on the tennis court beside our house, my soccer ball with the bell inside, hiking, picnics, playgrounds and making pizza with my family. Then there’s the one-woman theatre shows, audio description, braille/print children’s books, procrastination baking, hot chips with chicken salt, the dictionary, daffodils, dark red nail polish, cruising holidays and dresses with pockets, all of which I adore.

This website is a culmination of my experiences as a blind woman moving in a sighted world. I hope by engaging with it you’ll gain a greater insight and understanding of the inequities facing people with disability on a daily basis. Maybe, just maybe, it will inform your approach to building a more inclusive environment for all of us to inhabit.

If you have any questions, feedback or collaborative opportunities you would like to discuss further, either leave a comment in the relevant blog post, or use the contact page to get in touch. However, if you’re looking for our Running Ropes or Braille Blocks, they can be found over at the Taylored Thinking online shop.

Meanwhile, have a great day and remember: blindness is not a liability, it’s a lifestyle!