When I talk about my journey to visual thinking I speak about when I moved to Edinburgh in 2002 and started working for a disability organisation.

It was whilst working at this organisation that I received training in Person Centred Planning – a facilitation methodology that has hand drawn graphics at its heart. I still use many of the principles of Person Centred Planning in my training today.

What I don’t often speak about is the reason I started working for disability organisations in the first place.

Having completed a Masters Degree in Ethics I felt uncomfortable living in an academic bubble where I could muse at length about the practical applications of concepts such as paternalism, autonomy, and consent.

My thesis – The Dignity of the Undignified – was inspired by my disabled sister Fiona.

I was (and still am) fascinated by groups of people who are deemed to be on the fringes of capacity (and in turn, society) for one reason or another. Having spent 4 years studying philosophy it was time to step away from the books and get some practical experience actually working with disabled people. (The plan was then to go on to do a PhD – a story for another day..)

The trajectory goes a little like this:

The Story Behind My Discovery Of Graphics

Here’s to my sister Fiona and to all inspiring sisters!


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