October 6th 2011 - National disability and e-accessibility Charity, AbilityNet, is delighted to welcome Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox and bestselling fantasy author Sir Terry Prachett OBE as Patrons, announces Chairman Dr Michael R Taylor.
Martha Lane Fox, whose Race Online 2012 campaign aims to facilitate internet access for all UK citizens and Sir Terry Pratchett, himself a keen user of adapted computer technology, are both enthusiastic supporters of the Charity's work with disabled people and those with accessibility needs.
Says Martha: 'Nearly half of the 8.7 million adults in the UK who have never used the Internet are disabled. AbilityNet's pioneering work is playing a crucial role in reducing digital exclusion by enabling people with disabling conditions to access technology with the adjustments and adaptations they need.
'For those with limited mobility, the internet is a vital link with the outside world as I discovered for myself when recovering from a serious accident. In the same vein, I have observed the transformative impact that technology (in the form of a smart phone) is having on my tetraplegic uncle's quality of life.'
'Discworld' creator, Sir Terry Pratchett, has become a devotee of voice recognition technology since losing his ability to type effectively - a symptom of his Alzheimer's diagnosis. He said recently that should his dexterity return he would have absolutely no interest in returning to the keyboard: 'I'm on my third book using this technology - it's my right hand now!'
Says AbilityNet CEO, Nigel Lewis: 'As the leading experts in e-access for people with disabilities and accessibility needs, we are acutely aware of the empowering influence of digital technology. Whether at home, at work or in education, full access to computers and the internet can be life changing - economically, socially and psychologically.'
'The Board of Trustees are thrilled and honoured to welcome Martha and Sir Terry as Patrons and know that with their commitment and enthusiasm, they will make an invaluable contribution to the Charity going forward.'