BETT Awards open for business

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The BETT Awards for 2011 are finally open. The awards are the educational technology equivalent of the Oscars and can generate very welcome publicity for small companies.

A device to help children with ADHD

Last year’s special needs short list included two products from TTS Group Limited, Attention Trackerwhich helps children with ADHD to keep on task andChatter Block which can be used for creating stories, sequencing and talk time activities. Other products included Farview from Optelec Limited, a handheld video magnifier, Crick’s online word processor,WriteOnline and CBBC’s Accessible Newsreader, a talking news website which is also switch accessible. The winner was RoboBraille from Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford. This was an internet service which converts digital text documents into Braille or audio file format.

Special needs company Inclusive Technology which runs a Fringe Show at the Hilton Hotel during BETT each year won the prestigious ICT Company of the Year 2010.  The judges praised the company for championing the cause of special educational needs/inclusion through ICT. They also said Inclusive Technology had “gone above and beyond the expectations of an ICT-solutions provider.”

This year’s awards will be run by Emap Connect and BESA (British Educational Suppliers Association). Because the government is closing Becta, the main sponsor of previous awards, the organisers will be charging an entry fee of £175 plus VAT per product (£155 plus VAT for BESA members).

BETT award entries can be completed online at http://www.bettawards.com/. The closing date is October 4 and the shortlist will be announced at the end of October.