Awards and Nominations
The Queen's Birthday 2018 Honours List
In June 2018, Bev was appointed a Member of the Order of the British
Empire (MBE). She received this for services to exports in educational
technology for people with learning disabilities.
An MBE is awarded by The Queen for an outstanding achievement or
service to the community, that will have had a long-term, significant
impact and stand out as an example to others.
This is a huge honour for Bev and it is wonderful that her
achievements are recognised in such an extraordinary way.
Finalist in 2018
The Bett Awards are a
celebration of inspiring creativity and innovation in technology for
education. These awards are an integral part of each year's Bett Show,
which describes itself as the world's leading showcase of education
Two of our apps were shortlisted finalists for the 2018 awards:
We exhibited all our apps at
the Bett Show in London from 24
to 27 January. Thank you to the huge number of people from all over the
world who visited us at the show.
FDM everywoman in Technology Awards
Finalist in 2017
On February 9, Bev attended
FDM everywoman in Technology Awards ceremony in London, as a
finalist in the "Inspiration" category.
The event was a great opportunity to showcase our support of women
working in technology. Be it mothers juggling their work and their
families, or young female professionals looking to break into the
technology industry – Special iApps have always been strong advocates
for equality and determination in the workplace.
Bev had a wonderful evening and made some great connections with lots
of inspirational women.
Finalist in 2016
Our Special Words app made it to the
final of the Appcircus competition
at Mindspace in Hamburg, Germany on October 27, along with 9 other apps.
The competition was open to all developers, with an app in any category,
so we were excited to have reached the final.
Andrew Robinson, who joined us on a work placement in August 2016,
volunteered to make the journey from the U.K. to represent us. Andrew
had recently graduated from Northumbria University, where he had been
studying Business with Marketing Management.
Andrew gave a very confident pitch to the audience and the
professional jury, and our video was particularly well received. We
finished in second place. We're sure this was a great experience for
Apps para todos (Apps for All)
Finalist in 2016
On October 19, Sant Cugat del Vallès (near Barcelona in Spain),
hosted the final of the Apps para todos (Apps
for All) competition. The apps presented by the 10 finalists had all
passed the previous stages of the competition organised
by Cocemfe Barcelona
and Smart City Hack to
promote technological accessibility and the creation of intelligent and
The criteria the apps were judged against included accessibility to
all, value to people with disabilities and promotion of the inclusion of
people with hearing, visual, physical and motor impairment.
Most of the apps that reached the final were related to issues of
health, welfare, culture / education, tourism and accessibility. Colin
travelled from England to present
our Special Stories app. The other 9
contestants were all from within Spain.
Regional Award in 2015
The Dynamites Awards are the North East of England's annual IT and
At the Awards Ceremony on 22nd October at Newcastle Civic Centre, we
were totally surprised to win the award for Outstanding Achievement!
This category was selected by the judging panel to recognise an
outstanding organisation that, or an individual who, with a plethora of
successes under their belt, has been truly instrumental in driving the
North East IT industry forward.
As 3 parents of children with Down syndrome, and coming just 2 weeks
after being awarded Outstanding Social Enterprise in the region, we are
very pleased in Down Syndrome Awareness Month to help draw attention to
the educational needs of people with Down syndrome.
Global Finalist in 2015
The Meffys Awards are the global
benchmark for measuring commercial success and rewarding innovation
across the mobile ecosystem. Held annually since 2004 in London, San
Francisco, Cannes and Monaco, previous winners
the BBC and
We were shortlisted finalists this year, in the
in Education category. Congratulations to the winners, announced in
London on 19th October.
North East Charity Awards
Regional Award in 2015
The inaugural North
East Charity Awards took place in 2015. They were launched to
recognise the hard work and innovative thinking by local charities,
nonprofit organisations and individual fundraisers in the North East of
We were thrilled to win the Outstanding Social Enterprise
award at the ceremony in Newcastle upon Tyne, on 8th October.
Many thanks to the organisers, hosts and sponsors of the event, and
all of our many supporters in North East England and beyond.
North East Exporters' Awards
Regional Finalist in 2015
The North East Exporters' Awards recognises companies based in the
North East of England for their exporting achievements. Special iApps
was the only social enterprise shortlisted in 2015, and we were
delighted to be recognised as one of the Export Team of the Year
Finalists at the Awards Ceremony in Durham, on 25th June.
Excellence in Diversity
UK Award in 2015
The Excellence in
Diversity Awards recognise excellence in all areas of diversity
including age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race and
religion, as well as highlighting inclusive employers and employees
across housing, public, private, charity and education sectors.
We were delighted to be shortlisted for the 2015 awards in 2
categories: Colin for the Diversity Champion Award for Education, and
Special iApps for Best Diversity Resource Award.
We were overwhelmed to win the Best Diversity Resource Award at the
ceremony in Manchester on May 14th, ahead of 4 other outstanding
Andrew Hargreaves, from UCAS, presenting the award
said Today Special iApps have 11 exceptional apps,
tailored to a range of disabilities and languages. A phenomenal
We are extremely grateful to the organisers, sponsors and
judges. We'd also particularly like to thank all our volunteers around
the world: without their enthusiasm and dedication, none of this would
have been possible.
Mobile for Good
European Award in 2013
The Vodafone Foundation Mobile for Good Europe Awards are a joint
AGE Platform Europe
and the European
Disability Forum to find the best Android and iOS applications that
clearly benefit society.
Our Special Words app was shortlisted
in the education category for the finals of the 2013 awards. Bev and
Colin travelled from London to Brussels by Eurostar to present in front
of an international panel of judges on the morning of December 5th.
We waited nervously for the awards ceremony in the evening to find
out how we'd done, and we were delighted and overwhelmed to be awarded
second place, with a prize of € 15,000 (US $ 20,000) to help
us continue to develop the app and to reach more children.
We would very much like to thank the awards sponsors, judges and
organisers. Our thanks go out also to everyone who has downloaded
Special Words, and everybody who has helped us translate the app into
more than 20 languages.
Best App Ever
Our Special Words app was nominated
for the Education category of the
5th Best App Ever Awards in 2012,
and won third place in the public vote.
Thank you to everybody who voted for us!
Millennium Award in 2011
UnLtd is a UK-based foundation
that supports social entrepreneurs. It specifically helps individuals
whose ventures will deliver positive social change.
In 2011, Bev was very grateful to receive a Level 1 award from
UnLtd's competitive Millennium Awards scheme. This comprised a grant of
£ 3,000 (US $ 4,500) to help her launch her vision for
Special iApps. Also included was training across a range of business
disciplines, and legal assistance from global law
firm DLA Piper (through the UnLtd
Connect support network).