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Empowering Potential of Technology Celebrated in New Awards

A new awards event aims to recognise the ability of computers, the internet and assistive technology to improve the lives of people with disabilities and empower vulnerable sections of society.

Organised by disability and ICT charity AbilityNet ( http://bit.ly/himPdh ) and supported by organisations including BT, Microsoft and Race Online 2012, the first Technology4Good awards ( http://bit.ly/gwQUvZ ) are looking for examples of charities, businesses, government organisations and individuals that have used digital technology to improve the work and home lives of others, including disabled people, the elderly and young children. Two Accessibility Awards are featured in the seven categories.

Speaking to E-Access Bulletin’s sister publication (E-Government Bulletin: http://bit.ly/aKaTdz ), Mark Walker of AbilityNet said that the event has two main aims: “The first is to share stories about what works. It’s a good chance for people to share knowledge and experience. Secondly, it’s a chance to inspire other people.”

At a recent launch event for the awards, a blind member of AbilityNet gave a demonstration of how his smartphone helped him to navigate and organise parts of his life on a daily basis. “I’m sure lots of people have gone away and shared that story”, said Walker. “The inspiration you get from hearing about how other people have succeeded is a big part of what we’re trying to do as well.”

Nominations for all the Technology4Good Awards (whose judging panel will feature members of AbilityNet, Microsoft, BT and Martha Lane Fox – the UK’s Digital Champion) are now open, and entrants may nominate themselves or others before the 9 May deadline. The results will be announced on 7 June.

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