Go Genie

Go Genie is LIVE!

It’s in beta test stage so if you want to help us by using it go to www.gogenie.org

We want to make the inaccessible accessible. Go to www.gogenie.org and it will take you seconds to join and contribute (using your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Open ID).

We are in beta testing which means it is very new and needs people like you to use it, add to it, feedback to us what works (and doesn’t), add your own reviews and pictures and really tell us what is needed to make it great.

We have lots of other new features to add but these take time (and resources) so bear with us during this period of development things will work and other things will go wrong :)

How you can support Go Genie

  • contribute your favourite places by adding the access features and tell us in a review (pictures and videos if you prefer) on how it has great access
  • add reviews on your favourite or best kept secrets you want to share with others rate them > Love, Hate
  • add a hot tip in reviews so others can discover new accessible places (Spotted)
  • add reviews to report places that have bad access – tell us of what doesn’t work (for a place you go) to and why you avoid it – we will feedback this to the location concerned and your reviews remain anonymous
  • upload pictures and videos – we will tag them and you and others will be able to see places in real time from other people’s point of view
  • be a verified contributor - locations can manage their own page (in development)
  • add a widget to your website to display your premises/service information  (in development)
  • Lastly we are looking for further future investment, funding and people skills/support - can you help Go Genie be a real success? (We are funded by NESTA (pilot build of Go Genie) and investment from NOKIA to build Mobile phone app (out in September).

What is Go Genie?

Previously called OLILI (Ordinary, Like it! Love it!) it is a digital platform that will enable anyone needing to find access information for a cultural event, going to a supermarket, shop, cinema or even visiting a new town easily online on any website that uses it. You will be able to access recommendations and find out from local people what you really need to know. You will be able to respond and feedback using audio, text, photographs and video.

Who is it aimed at?

  • Disabled and Deaf people, their families and friends
  • Older people who have access needs but may not see themselves as disabled
  • parents with children
  • anyone who needs to know the facilities available in places and get recommendations
  • companies and services who want to welcome everyone to use their facilties

Any company will be able to use it to promote their facilities so that their customers have a better and more enjoyable experience. For those organisations they will benefit from

  • greater communications around access needs
  • with social media at the heart of it creating an easy way to reach a marginalised audience and even an easier way to deal with complaints quickly and more easily.

Don’t we already have enough review sites?
We won’t be duplicating what is already out there with websites like Trip Advisor, Qype and Yelp and so on. Go Genie will be a service that can be tagged on any website and attached to existing listings without having to do additional searches.

When will it launch?
September 2011.

Why is Go Genie so important?
If you wanting to go out to a theatre, the cinema, a shop, the pub, a supermarket, the post office, even pay your council tax and have a disability or access needs, how do you find relevant access information online quickly and easily?

A recent government report concluded that 1 in 5 customers cannot access a service because they could not use the company’s website or physically get in the premises.

20% of the population is defined as Disabled under the Disability Equalities Act – that is one quarter of the UK population..

Disabled people are worth £80 Billion a year in economic terms. That is a huge market to not include.

So how will Go Genie operate?
We are creating an integrated online service that hooks into any website,  what’s on guides etc.  so that you can find accurate, up to date and helpful access information, whether you’re checking out what’s on, or are ready to buy your ticket. It won’t be just another website created you will find this information easily everywhere.

It is being piloted in the West Midlands. It will then branching out (to everything else) nationally. We are working with Telford and Wrekin Council as part of the pilot to see how Go Genie can improve their facilities in documenting the access as a self-audit and how services can be improved for residents, businesses and visitors.

As well presenting info and data in a visually simple way, Go Genie is to include the sorts information and knowledge you only get from others who are familiar with the space. In other words customers themselves are the experts with local knowledge of where is accessible for them. It could be any of the following and even more:

  • What is the access like?
  • If its a cultural organisation –  do you have subtitled screenings, BSL interpreted performances, induction loop, audio description etc.
  • Where is the best sitting area if I am a wheelchair user, Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Visually impaired)?
  • What the induction loop is like sound wise? Do I need to book it?
  • How far to sit from the stage to lipread a performer?
  • What the wheelchair seating arrangements are like?
  • Are there adult changing facilities?
  • Is there a quiet room/rest room?
  • What are the staff like, what is their awareness of access issues? Have they had training?
  • Are there baby changing facilities, pram access (wide enough for twin buggies?), breastfeeding facilities)?
  • Are there ramps/steps with handrails/lifts?
  • Where to park your car for the nearest accessible entrance?
  • Best transport options with ramps/lift access?
  • Who to contact (directly) to clarify your needs?

It will even grow to include the whole visiting experience, from an access-friendly (stress-free) journey. It will use the best of social media and be fully accessible.

Who is leading the project?
Alison Smith from Pesky People. Partners include Audiences Central and Black Country Touring. We are also in discussion with Visit London and have the backing of Culture 24. Alison has worked in Disability Arts and cultural sector for over 17 years and has first hand experience of Disability and Deafness.

How is it funded?
We have

  • £20,000 fron NESTA Reboot Britain Programme for the pilot build of Go Genie and the Widget
  • £25,00 from NOKIA to develop a mobile phone app on Symbian platform for their OVI store
  • £25,000 seed funding from Arts Council England Digital Content Development Programme (which paid for the user experience consultation)

Are you looking for investors?
Yes. We have funding to deliver the first seed phase and looking for additional support to get it up and running. Please contact us.

I’m a business/cultural organisation – how can I get involved?
We are doing an online questionnaire for cultural organisations/venues which will be uploaded this week. We welcome your involvement and need your contributions to make it a success. Please contact us.

I have a Disability and am interested in finding out more – how can I get involved?
As well as doing direct workshops consultations first week in January 2011 we will have an online questionnaire available shortly. Please contact us. if you want to be involved.

Or you can complete our contact form and we will email you with updates.

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