Accessibility is the final frontier at ND2012

Robin Christopherson dressed as Spock at ND2012AbilityNet's Head of Digital Inclusion, Robin Christopherson, dressed as Spock to bring accessibility to life at ND2012, the National Digital Inclusion conference that took place in late May. Robin's highly popular speech showed how the future has already arrived for many disabled people as he demonstrated how his smartphone can tell him where he is, remind him of appointments, answer spoken questions and even tell him what money he's holding.

Abilitynet was hosting an Accessibility Zone at the event, which attracted over 1,000 people to Old Billingsgate Market in central London. The Zone provided a chance to speak to experts about all aspects of accessibility and was run in conjunction with partners that included MicroLink, Clear Company, iT4Communities, IT Can Help and RNIB.

As well as his appearance on the main stage Robin was also one half of a Star Trek duo with Mark 'Captain Kirk' Walker, AbilityNet's Marketing Manager. Between them they ran a very successful Accessibility Quiz at various times during the two days in which conference-goers were challenged to answer a mixture of fun and serious questions.

Picture is by MattMitchell101 on Flickr.

Technology4Good Awards 2012: Shortlists announced

Having started with over 200 entries, 26 finalists have been shortlisted for this year's Technology4Good Awards, which are run by AbilityNet, BT and a host of leading business and not for profit partners. A panel of judges from the worlds of business, technology and charity will now be chose winners in eight categories, who will be announced at an Awards Ceremony hosted by Mariella Frostrup in London on 6 July.

technology4good awards logoNigel Lewis, AbilityNet's CEO, says that the high quality of the entries is matched by the diversity of organisations and individuals who have been selected. "We have multi-national companies like BSkyB and Panasonic alongside very small volunteer-only self-help groups and even a hash tag that was used on Twitter to rally people to clean up their streets after the riots. This demonstrates the power of technology to do good and we're looking forward to celebrating and being inspired by the hard work of so many different people."

To view the shortlists and find out more about the Awards visit

Communication Aids

What is a Communication Aid?

If your speech is unclear or you have no speech at all then a computer can help you be understood. A communication aid is anything that helps an individual communicate more effectively with those around them. This could range from a simple letter board to a more sophisticated piece of electronic equipment.

This factsheet tells you about the many options available and some of the tools that can help.

Autism and Computers

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. People with autism can often have accompanying learning disabilities.

Asperger’s syndrome is a condition at the higher functioning end of the autistic spectrum.  People with Asperger’s syndrome do not usually have the accompanying learning disabilities associated with autism.

Dyslexia and Computing

Having dyslexia can make writing and reading text very difficult but there are many ways that a computer can help you overcome these difficulties. Our free Factsheet provides information about various ways that you can adapt a computer to help you, some of which are built into standard computers.

RSI in the Workplace inc Work Related Upper Limb Disorder and Computing

This factsheet looks at Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) – the term most often used to describe the pain felt in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repeated movement and overuse. It is also referred to as Work Related Upper Limb Disorders.

It focuses on adaptations and adjustments to computer hardware and software that can prevent RSI and deal with its symptoms. It looks at the symptoms and causes of RSI and the easy steps that individuals or employers can take to protect themselves or their staff.