Our Accessibility Award champions business and individuals that puts accessibility at the heart of everything they do, and helps to make the world a more inclusive place through technology.  As the Tech4Good awards open for nominations, we wanted to highlight some past winners of the award. 

A previous award winner is Be My Eyes which is a free mobile app that helps blind people in situations where a pair of eyes is needed. It connects blind and low vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call. 

There are more than 253 million blind people in the world, and it is Be My Eyes’ mission to bring sight to everyone who needs it. Unfortunately, we live in a world that is poorly designed for people with visual impairments, and we believe that technology can help change that. The app is available in more than 150 countries worldwide and in over 180 languages. It is free for both iOS and Android. 

With Be My Eyes’ Specialized Help companies can now also be on the platform. Specialized Help is a new and better way for your company or organisation to connect with blind and low vision customers and provide an improved and more accessible support. The next step is to include even more companies on the platform so that companies around the world can provide good customer service and so that blind and visually impaired people can use products and services in the same way as sighted people.

Another previous award winner is Bristol Braille who created the world’s first multi-line digital Braille e-reader. Affordable Braille is essential for blind literacy, education and employment, yet Braille use has been declining for decades due to stagnant technology. Bristol Braille Technology built a revolutionary and radically affordable Braille e-reader for blind people called Canute, designed with and by the blind community. The Canute is the world’s first multiple line Braille e-reader, forty characters per line by nine lines, and is now available to purchase after six years in development.

“This is not just a hardware project; it’s a labour of love that’s lasted five years. All of us came through either the Hackspace or the Braille reading community,” said Ed Rogers from Bristol Braille.

Canute shows a full page of text rather than a single line, meaning it can be used to teach mathematical and scientific formulas. With the Canute they aim to help reverse the decline in Braille literacy and increase blind literacy, education, employment and social engagement.

To enter the award, please visit here. This Award is open to any individual, business, charity, social enterprise or other public body with a base in the UK. It may refer to the work they do as a whole or one specific project.