Awards and Nominations

The Queen's Birthday 2018 Honours List

Joe, William, Bev & Colin at Buckingham Palace

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 honor for Bev and it is wonderful that her achievements are recognized in such an extraordinary way.

Bett Awards

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 technology solutions.

Bett Awards 2018 Finalist

Two of our apps were shortlisted finalists for the 2018 awards:

  • Special Stories

    Finalist in the Special Educational Needs Solutions category

  • Special Words

    Finalist in the International Digital Education Resource category

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

Bev at the 2017 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards

On February 9, Bev attended the 2017 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.

Appcircus Hamburg

Finalist in 2016

Andrew presenting our Special Words app

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 Andrew.

Apps para todos (Apps for All)

Finalist in 2016

Colin presenting our Special Stories app

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 organized by Cocemfe Barcelona and Smart City Hack to promote technological accessibility and the creation of intelligent and humane cities.

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 traveled from England to present our Special Stories app. The other 9 contestants were all from within Spain.

Dynamites 15

Regional Award in 2015

Bev with the Dynamites 15 award

The Dynamites Awards are the North East of England's annual IT and Technology awards.

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 recognize an outstanding organization 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.

Meffys Awards

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 include Apple, the BBC and the Wikimedia Foundation.

We were shortlisted finalists this year, in the Innovation in Education category. Congratulations to the winners, announced in London on 19th October.

North East Charity Awards

Regional Award in 2015

Bev and Colin after receiving the award

The inaugural North East Charity Awards took place in 2015. They were launched to recognize the hard work and innovative thinking by local charities, nonprofit organizations and individual fundraisers in the North East of England.

We were thrilled to win the Outstanding Social Enterprise award at the ceremony in Newcastle upon Tyne, on 8th October.

Many thanks to the organizers, 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 recognizes 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 recognized 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 recognize 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.

Barbara, Colin and Bev with the EiDA award

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 contenders.

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 achievement.

We are extremely grateful to the organizers, 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 initiative between the Vodafone Foundation, 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 traveled from London to Brussels by Eurostar to present in front of an international panel of judges on the morning of December 5th.

Bev and Colin with the Vodafone Foundation Award

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 organizers. 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).

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