Antony Ruck, who was co-opted onto the BATA council last year, has been elected as BATA chair. He is a freelance AT consultant with over 15 years’ experience in senior management within the industry.
"This is a challenging time for all involved with assistive technology,” he says, “but I am sure that with your support we can advance the cause of disabled people by ensuring they get timely access to the technology that can support them in daily living.
“I am particularly keen to ensure the credibility and skills of professionals who support disabled people through Assistive Technology is recognised and promoted, through recognised training and certification programmes.”
Three other members have joined Antony on BATA’s council they are Muzzamil Lakhani, who was also previously a co-opted member and two new comers: Dr Shirley Evans a researcher at the University of Warwick and Matt Dean, sales manager of software company Recite Me.
Said Dr Shirley Evans: “I have joined the Council because my work and interests have given me an all-round perspective on the enormous difference the right assistive technology with the right support can make to peoples’ lives and this aligns completely with the aims of BATA. I would like to use this understanding together with my skills, energy and drive to contribute significantly to these aims.”
The previous chair Mark McCusker and Graham Coiley who have been closely involved with BATA’s DSA campaign step down from the council but will continue to be involved as co-opted members.
The changes were made at BATA’s recent AGM held at the BCS headquarters in London.
At the meeting, members who attended heard four presentations. Abi James, Assistive Technology Researcher at the British Dyslexia Association and of Southampton University. spoke about 'Exam accessibility: trends towards enabling disabled students to use assistive technology in the exam room'.
Abi’s colleague EA Draffan, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southampton gave a presentation entitled: 'Trends in assistive technology: the big picture'.
Peter Abrahams, Practice Leader, Accessibility and Usability at the Bloor research company provided an over view of associations working to improve accessibility in the UK.
‘Improving the way the NHS communicates with disabled people: from bun fights to champagne’ was the title of Howard Leicester’s talk. Howard is a member of the BCS Digital Accessibility Specialist Group who is also involved in developing accessible health informatics.