Congratulations to all the winners of the AbilityNet Tech 4 Good Awards 2019, who were revealed yesterday at the annual awards ceremony in BT Centre, London.
Organised by AbilityNet and sponsored by BT, these are the only awards to highlight the amazing people from charities, business and volunteers across the UK who use digital technology to make the world a better place.
These awards are very close to our heart as Recite Me was created nearly ten years ago by Ross Linnett to help other people with disabilities to access websites, so tech for good is heart at of our company.
Winners of this year’s awards include nine-year-old Mihika Sharma who won the BT Young Pioneer Award for her work inventing the Smart Stick.
Mihika’s Smart Stick can help blind as well as deaf people to build up confidence in walking alone and alert them about obstacles.
It takes them to their destination using the Bluetooth and the phone GPS system in the stick – guiding them along the path using right and left vibrators according to the navigation instructions
Other notable winners include stand-up comedian Lee Ridley, better known as Lost Voice Guy.
He was one of two recipients of a Tech4Good Special Award, which he received in recognition of his huge success as the first stand-up comedian in Britain to use a communication aid in his routines.
The AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards 2019 winners:
ACCESSIBILITY AWARD – sponsored by Microsoft
Winner: Digit Music
Control One, created by Digit Music, was developed in response to the need for a non-instrument alternative for severely people with disabilities to create music. The only product of its kind, it allows physically disabled people to create music without having to learn an entirely new physical skill.
AGEING SOCIETY AWARD – sponsored by UnLtd
Winner: Safe & Found Online
Safe & Found’s aim is to give users, their families and carers the peace of mind to know that should they be reported missing, the Police will be using the best information and technology they need.
BT YOUNG PIONEER AWARD
Winner: Mihika Sharma – Smart Stick
Mihika’s Smart Stick can help both blind as well as deaf people to build up confidence in walking alone and alert them about obstacles. It takes them to their destination using the Bluetooth and the phone GPS system – guiding them along the path using right and left vibrators according to the navigation instructions.
COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD – sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group and Good Things Foundation
Beam is a breakout tech for good that crowdfunds employment training for homeless people. Its innovative approach uses digital technology to remove financial barriers for the homeless community and allows them to improve their skills to get into well-paid work.
CONNECTED SOCIETY AWARD – sponsored by Samsung
MeeTwo is a free, fully moderated, peer support mental help app. MeeTwo enables young people (aged 11-23) to talk about difficult things, and to help themselves by helping each other. Based on the latest psychological research.
DIGITAL VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD – sponsored by Do it Life
Winner: Chris Grant
Chris Grant is AbilityNet’s Area Coordinator in Scotland, or “King of Scotland” as he is affectionately known by the central team. Since starting in May 2018, he has completely transformed their free services in Scotland, generating huge growth in the number of volunteers and the hours of free tech support provided to older people and people with disabilities.
INCLUSIVE DESIGN AWARD – sponsored by Scope
Winner: National Theatre
The National Theatre’s Smart Caption Glasses system is an automated, always-on closed captioning service which pairs speech-following technology with smart glasses allowing patrons with hearing loss to attend any performance on any day. The system “listens” to what is being said or sung on stage and text is sent to glasses via Wi-Fi.
TECH4GOOD DIVERSITY AWARD – sponsored by Nesta
WhiteHat is a tech startup on a mission to create a diverse group of future leaders by building an outstanding alternative to university through apprenticeships. WhiteHat is transforming apprenticeships by developing high quality education and training that supports the needs of both employers and young people, underpinned by a thriving on and offline community.
TECH4GOOD FOR AFRICA AWARD – sponsored by Comic Relief
Jangala was developed as an internet solution to help refugees living in the Jungle refugee camp in Calais. Since this first implementation, it has developed into a social enterprise to connect the most vulnerable in the world in order to reduce isolation, promote human rights, deliver education and improve life chances.
TECH4GOOD AWESOME AWARD
Winner: Lost Voice Guy (Lee Ridley)
Lee Ridley is an English stand-up comedian, performing under the stage name of Lost Voice Guy. Disabled since early life, and unable to speak, he is the first stand-up comedian in Britain to use a communication aid in his routines. Lee won Britain’s Got Talent in 2018 and the BBC New Comedy Award in 2014. Lee’s other credits include America’s Got Talent: The Champions (NBC), Live At The Apollo (BBC Two), The Royal Variety Performance (ITV).
Winner: Dr Sue Black, OBE
A Technology Evangelist and Digital Skills Expert, Sue was awarded an OBE for “services to technology” in the 2016 Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. She is now a UK government advisor, thought leader, Honorary Professor of Computer Science at UCL, social entrepreneur, writer and public speaker. Her current social enterprise #techmums is changing lives. #techmums teaches mums tech skills and builds their confidence encouraging them into education, entrepreneurship and employment.
TECH4GOOD PEOPLE’S AWARD – powered by Crowdfunder.co.uk
WINNER OF WINNER’S AWARD – sponsored by Information Technologists’ Company