“LexAble has grown so much in the past year, and we know that the Tech4Good Awards have been a significant factor in many of our recent successes.”
Tech4Good Awards recently got in touch with some of the Winners from 2012 to find out how life has changed for them since taking home a trophy.
Neil Cottrell is the Director of LexAble and the creator of Global AutoCorrect, a tool for people with dyslexia and literacy issues. At age 15 he wrote the software to help him with his own spelling difficulties, before releasing Global AutoCorrect to the public in 2009. Today the product is used by thousands of people in schools, universities and workplaces, in the UK and throughout the English speaking world.
1. What made you decide to enter the awards last year?
We first heard about the awards through a past winner, but it immediately became clear that no other awards ceremonies were doing anything like this. All of the previous winners’ stories really resonated with us. Entering the awards was a great opportunity to share both my personal success story and the difference our product has made to people with dyslexia and literacy issues.
2. How did you feel from being shortlisted, to winning your category, to battling it out for the top spot?
It was quite a whirlwind from start to finish! We were so thrilled to be shortlisted alongside well-known charities, a local authority and multinational corporations. When we were named as the winner of the Accessibility Award we couldn’t quite believe it! Then, after the panel discussions in the second half of the ceremony, we were chosen as runner-up by the audience. Finally, the subsequent messages of support from our customers, industry colleagues and friends were truly overwhelming and a delight to receive. I think winning the award has just about sunk in now, but it was an incredible honour and I still get excited when I think about it!
3. Where do you keep your T4G trophy?
Our trophy, which is made entirely from recycled computer parts, takes pride of place in our meeting room. It’s such a unique object – very different than the usual glass or brass designs – and it’s the first thing our clients and business partners notice when they walk in the room! Seeing the trophy every day also serves as a valuable reminder of our mission and what we hope to achieve in the future.
4. How did you find the Tech4Good Awards Experience?
It was a great day, filled with amazing examples of how technology can have a positive impact on the world we live in. Everyone was very friendly and it was clear that every shortlisted candidate, not just the winners, deserved praise and recognition for what they do. I particularly enjoyed the panel discussions in the second half of the ceremony because it gave each category winner a chance to share a first hand account of their story and what they have achieved.
5. What has changed for LexAble since winning an Accessibility Award?
Winning the Accessibility Award could not have come at a better time for us. We made so many great connections during the day, many of which have led to new projects and joint ventures. Winning a Tech4Good award also brought the company and our message to a much wider audience. LexAble has grown so much in the past year, and we know that the Tech4Good Awards have been a significant factor in many of our recent successes.
6. What does the future hold for LexAble?
We’re constantly improving Global AutoCorrect and working hard to share it with as many people as possible. Over the next year we will be bringing our product to many more schools, workplaces and universities. This summer we will also be releasing, by popular demand, a Mac version of our software. As for the long term, we’re always looking for new technologies and ideas that will help our users to work on a level playing field with their peers, so look out for new products from us in the future!