Robin Christopherson honoured with MBE for services to digital inclusion

Photo of Robin Christopherson and guide dog ArchieWe are delighted to announce that Robin Christopherson, Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNet has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honour’s List for his services to digital inclusion.

The award has been made in recognition of Robin’s significant personal contribution in promoting awareness of the need to provide digital products and services that are inclusive for disabled people. Robin is widely recognised in the technology community as one of the leading experts on digital accessibility and inclusion.

Robin’s career in technology started after he graduated from Cambridge University; first working as an IT instructor for the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), he then became a founding member of AbilityNet in 1998. In 2003 he began AbilityNet’s accessibility consultancy team which is now globally acclaimed as leading experts in the field; specialising in accessibility auditing and disabled user testing, as well as helping clients design attractive apps and websites that are both accessible and easy to use by all.

Inspiring people to build a more accessible digital world

Robin is blind and uses technology very effectively - using speech output to access computers, the internet, his iPhone and many other technologies to assist him in his work. More importantly he has a first-hand appreciation of the importance of good web and mobile design and its impact on both accessibility and usability for every customer.

Many people will have enjoyed one of Robin's inspiring talks which he delivers at tech events, charity events and many other forums. One of the most recent was his speech at the Tech4Good Awards Ceremony in July 2016, following which he was awarded the Tech4Good Special Award.

Most recently Robin won the special award at the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards 2016 in recognition of his services as a digital inclusion evangelist spanning two decades. He also came runner-up ‘UK Digital Leader Public Figure of the Year 2015’ (after the government’s own digital champion; Baroness Martha-Lane Fox) in the Digital Leaders 100 Awards– with AbilityNet winning first in its category of Digital Charity of the Year.

Commenting on what the MBE means to him Robin said:

“I've had the privilege to be AbilityNet’s ambassador for technology for many years, giving me the opportunity to demonstrate to audiences across the world how tech has the power to change and even transform people's lives regardless of any disability or impairment they may have.”

“AbilityNet's mission is to help people to reach their full potential. Over the last few decades we've seen a revolution that has almost infinitely expanded opportunities for people with disabilities and I feel very fortunate to have played a small part in spreading the word.”

“I’m hoping that receiving this award might help get the message out and inspire people to think about the needs of everyone around them and make sure they can all benefit from the power of technology and the internet to change their lives for the better. AbilityNet will continue to promote digital inclusion, and I hope to be a part of this astonishing journey for many years to come.”

Cutting edge thinking

Robin provides a steady stream of blog posts and commentary on current technologies and their application for disabled people.