The Freddie Awards were born of the notion by one man that “I can do better than that” and another man challenging him to do just that. Over 30 years later, that challenge has become a film festival that attracts hundreds of entries from around the world, showcasing medical films and websites. This year, brainline.org won the 2009 Freddie for best medical website.
I first found brainline.org via Twitter. Actually, they probably found me, then I checked out who was following me, and I was so impressed with their website and their tweets, I followed them (this is my usual procedure for finding people on Twitter). Their website is laid out so even people like me who get easily distracted by visual clutter and then quickly tune out, can navigate it. So often brain-injury-focussed websites are impossible for the brain injured — or me anyway — to navigate, to read, and to use. Not brainline. This may be because PBS runs it. Being familiar with how a visual medium works, WETA knows how to design for their audience.
Beyond the aesthetics though, they have loads of useful information, just like a PBS station would. They not only have research articles with relevant links to how-to articles or ask-the-expert columns, but they also have videos with experts from not just the US, but Canada as well. They have content for brain injury survivors, family and friends of survivors, and professionals. Their content is good content, not the usual blah blah blah BS I normally come across. They also mention closed head injuries, the kind of brain injury usually lost in the slew of content about coma-inducing brain injuries that many brain injury or medical websites seem to show as the only ones that count. And so it doesn’t surprise me that brainline has won the Freddie for best website. It is the first and only website I would recommend to anyone who wants to know more about brain injuries.