The power of technology to transform the lives disabled people was as a key theme as the winners of the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards 2018 were announced at the eighth annual awards ceremony in BT Centre, London.
This year’s winners included Be My Eyes, an accessibility app that uses a smartphone to connect blind people with sighted volunteers, TapSOS an app originally designed for the Deaf community that provides a non-verbal way of contacting the Emergency Services and WaytoB a navigation aid for people with learning disabilities.
The Tech4Good Awards are organised by AbilityNet and sponsored by BT and supported by charities and businesses including Lloyds Banking Group, Microsoft and Tech Trust. The judging panel includes experts from the BBC, tech industry, charity and government. These are the only awards to highlight the amazing people from charities, business and volunteers across who use digital technology to make the world a better place. Entry is free and open to any business, charity, individual or public body in the UK.
The awards ceremony took place on 17 July at BT Centre, London, where more than 200 people came together to discover who won this year's Awards:
- AbilityNet Accessibility Award: Be My Eyes
- BT Connected Society Award: Small Robot Company
- BT Young Pioneer Award: Water Watcher
- Comic Relief Tech4Good for Africa Award: Unlocking Talent Through Technology
- Community Impact Award: Mind of My Own (MOMO)
- Digital Health Award: TapSOS
- Digital Skills Award: Generation Code
- Tech Volunteer of the Year Award: Anna Holland Smith
- Tech4Good People’s Award: WaytoB
- Tech4Good Special Award: Lewis Hine of Friend Finder
- Winner of Winners Award: Be My Eyes
The Awards are organised by Mark Walker at AbilityNet, who is pictured below with BBC Click presenter Kate Russell, who hosts the event, Ian Caveney of BT and Ben Scott Robinson of the Small Robot Company, winners of the BT Connected Society Award 2018.
Mark said everyone was still buzzing after another amazing event:
“We've had another fantastic year, with so many inspiring stories from people who are using tech to make the world a better place. We had over 200 high-quality entries and our 35 finalists included big tech names such as Microsoft and Facebook, along with small charities, startups and lots of volunteers.
"Our judging panel includes tech, charity and business experts from a huge range of organisations, including the BBC, BT, Comic Relief and Government. The standard was much higher than usual so they had a really tough time choosing the winners.
“The Award Ceremony is such an uplifting event - it's wonderful to meet so many amazing people who are using their passion for technology to change the lives of other people. It's such a privilege to celebrate their success and help them share their stories to inspire others. Everyone at AbilityNet is so proud of the way the Tech4Good Awards has grown over the past eight years - and so grateful for the support we get from BT and all the other partners and supporters."
- Read more about all of this year's winners and finalists in this feature on the Guardian website
- Other details about the Awards on the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards website