The winners of the 2020 AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards have been revealed in an online awards ceremony. AbilityNet Head of Marketing and Communications, Mark Walker, who commented:
“I want to congratulate all the winners of this years’ awards for helping making the world a more accessible and better place in all that they do. There was such a high calibre of entrants this year and it was incredibly difficult to select the final winners.
“It was especially great to see so many people tackling the issues that COVID-19 created or amplified. It’s these projects and people that are at the heart of the Tech4Good Awards ethos.
“These awards champion the unsung heroes of the technology space and, with the help of our support through online events for all of our winners and finalists, we’re excited to see these projects, businesses and individuals progress and develop to their full potential.”
Congratulations to our 2020 winners
Tech4Good Accessibility Award Winner: The Clarion
The Clarion is a digital instrument that can be played with any part of the body using mouse or finger touch, but also head movement or eye movement. It works seamlessly with assistive technology like Eyegaze, removing the barriers that can come with a conventional instrument’s shape, size or the need to bow, pluck or blow it.
Tech4Good for Africa Award Winner: MedicineAfrica
MedicineAfrica is a not-for-profit organisation that provides technology consultancy and acts as a partner for health system strengthening programmes. Its main project in Somaliland uses technology to connect medical professionals in the UK with partner universities and medical students in Somaliland. Partnering with King’s College London Somaliland, they have used online learning technology to deliver desperately needed training for over 11 years.
Tech4Good Arts & Culture Award Winner: Artist Support Pledge
Artist Support Pledge is a simple concept that is designed to build a generous culture of artists and buyers and create a sustainable economy for artists and makers. Artists post pictures of their art for sale on their Instagram account, and tag the work with the hashtag #artistsupportpledge. The initiative has provided new financial income for thousands of artists and makers during the pandemic when many of their usual routes for sales – galleries, fairs, markets and shops have closed down, and has created a market for many artists who have previously never sold their work.
BT Young Pioneer Award Winner: Dimming Dyslexia
Dimming Dyslexia is a project that strives to help people with difficulties in literacy and reading so they can achieve as much as they are capable of. The project, which will take the form of an app, works to analyse texts and resources that students are using and translate them into an easier format to comprehend such as cartoons, videos or certain fonts that will better assist users with their particular needs, such as the dyslexic font Open Dyslexic.
Tech4Good Community Impact Winner: Power to Connect
Power To Connect was set up in April 2020 as a direct response to the COVID19 Pandemic. Together, Wandsworth Council and Battersea Power Station launched the Power To Connect initiative to support families with access to data and devices to help them stay connected and engage in homeschooling during the lockdown. With a two-pronged approach, the project tackles digital poverty by distributing data vouchers and laptops or tablets.
Digital Health Award Winner: Elemental
Elemental is a platform that integrates with all leading clinical systems, and soon to be secondary care systems, so that people can be better connected into their communities and empowered to access and engage in health and wellbeing in their own local communities. It enables health and social care providers to connect patients to non-medical activities and support in the community to reduce health risks and health inequalities.
Digital Volunteer Award Winner: Marc Sloan
Marc wanted to put his tech skills to good use as the start of lockdown so he created Covid Tech Support, a tech helpdesk for charities and non-profits who needed digital support because of the pandemic. Starting off as a Google Form, the project then grew into a community of technologists like Marc who wanted to help, naming it code4covid. What set this group of people apart was that it was filled with highly skilled individuals: developers, designers, marketers, project managers and entrepreneurs, with Marc connecting those in need with the correct skilled member of his team.
Education Award Winner: Children on the Edge
Children on the Edge is a digital programme enabling refugee children to connect beyond the camps. They are pioneering digital learning to deliver meaningful education for 7,500 Rohingya refugee students and 1,400 slum dwelling children. The system not only brings learning alive and addresses the current language barrier, but introduces knowledge and experience beyond the camps and slum areas.
Workplace Inclusion Award Winner: ClearTalents
ClearTalents helps organisations like HS2, Amazon & CGI to be inclusive by identifying the support or workplace adjustment any employee may need to enable them to perform at their best. ClearTalents invites every employee to create a diversity profile so that they can share how any of the nine protected characteristics or other life situations are impacting the way they work. Expert guidance is instantly provided to the employee and line manager on the often-simple changes needed to address their concerns.
Tech4Good Special Award: Haben Girma
The first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben Girma advocates for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. President Obama named her a White House Champion of Change. She received the Helen Keller Achievement Award, and a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Haben believes disability is an opportunity for innovation and she travels the world teaching the benefits of choosing inclusion.
Tech4Good People’s Award Winner: Hug
HUG™ is a playful, sensory product designed for people living with advanced dementia. Designed to be cuddled, it provides the calming sensation of giving and receiving a hug and has been shown to soothe, comfort and reduce anxiety. HUG™ contains electronics that provide a simulated beating heart and the facility to play a personalised playlist of music.