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Nominations open for Disability Smart Technology Award 2019

Image credit: Marko Volkmar | Dreamstime

The UK's Business Disability Forum is seeking nominations from the technology industry for its Disability Smart Technology for All Award 2019.

Supported by Barclays, the Disability Smart Awards recognise employers and service providers which have taken positive steps to become more inclusive and diverse.

Award categories for 2019 include Disability Smart Design Award, Disability Smart Workplace Experience Award, Disability Smart Global Leader Award, and Disability Smart Multinational Organisation Award.

In the 2018 awards, Microsoft won the technology category for its deployment of cutting-edge technologies to ensure their widely used products were as accessible to as many customers as possible.

Hector Minto, Microsoft’s tech evangelist for Europe, Middle East and Africa, spoke about the impact of the Disability Smart win at Business Disability Forum’s annual conference in April: “Winning the Disability-Smart award was very good for us, not just because of the Windows work but for what people don't see, which is the number of employees with disabilities working as engineers on the product.

"It is not somebody doing something for people with disabilities, it is blind engineers, it is deaf engineers, it is people working and bringing their life experience to our product to make it better.

“There is so much built into the product that empowers people routinely, but it really took the Disability Smart Award to get the message out clearly to the business world and the education world.”

Other winners in 2018 were Liverpool Football Club, Gatwick Airport, Financial Conduct Authority and West Midlands Police.

Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum, said: “Through the Disability Smart Awards, we want to celebrate success, while raising the bar on inclusion and challenging other organisations to become more accessible.

“Please help lead the way on change by sharing with us what your organisation is doing to ensure you are meeting the needs of disabled employees and customers.”

The 2019 Disability Smart Awards are open to all businesses and organisations. Categories for the 2019 Disability Smart Awards are as follows:

  • Disability Smart Senior Champion Award 2019
  • Disability Smart Design Award (new category)
  • Disability Smart Workplace Experience Award 2019 (sponsored by Microlink)
  • Disability Smart Influencer Awards 2019 (new category)
  • Disability Smart Technology for All Award 2019 (sponsored by Microlink)
  • Disability Smart Customer Service Award 2019 (new category)
  • Disability Smart Communications & Marketing Campaign Award 2019 (new category)
  • Disability Smart Global Leader Award 2019
  • Disability Smart Multinational Organisation Award 2019
  • Disability Smart Diversity & Inclusion Practitioner Award 2019
  • Disabled Peoples’ Choice Award 2019

More information about the awards categories and details of how to enter are available online.

All entries must be received by 20 September 2019. Winners will be announced at the Disability Smart Awards Ceremony on 23 October 2019. All finalists will be invited to attend the ceremony.

Business Disability Forum is a non-profit membership organisation which exists to transform the life chances of disabled people. With over 25 years’ experience, it brings together business leaders, disabled people and government to understand what needs to change to improve the life opportunities and experiences of disabled people in employment, economic growth and society more widely.

In a special diversity issue, published earlier this year, E&T looked at the challenges and opportunities for disabled people working in engineering, such as the proactive approach employers can take, as well as examples of inclusivity for disabled people in the wider world.

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