Business Disability Forum Conference 2017

BDF Conference, 11th April 2017
Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, London
BDF Conference 2017

The Business Disability Forum conference is designed for members looking to take a whole organisational approach to improving performance on disability issues, making it easier to employ and do business with disabled people. The event leads the way in modern thinking, moving disability from the traditional view as solely an HR issue and into the requirements and understanding within each area of a business. It brings together members, partners, associates and stakeholders for a day of presentations, learning and networking.

The theme for the BDF conference this year will focus on the findings of BDF’s 2016 research paper, ‘Key aids and barriers to effectively engaging suppliers and partners’, authored by George Selvanera, which found that more than 60% of outsourcing deals between organisations and outside suppliers failed to build disability into the final outcome, leaving many companies at risk of being inaccessible.

We’re really pleased to be attending this year and very much looking forward to hearing the current research and best practice ideas from across the industry, whilst sharing our expertise in assistive technologies within the workplace. We’ll be aiming to help you secure disability-smart outcomes in work.

What to expect on the day

Focusing on disability-smart suppliers and partners, the conference will be opened by Minister of State for Disabled People, Work and Health, Penny Mordaunt. The event will also feature speakers including:

• Jane Hatton, CEO of Evenbreak
• George Selvanera, Strategy and External Affairs Director at Business Disability Forum
• Dr. Nasser Siabi OBE, CEO of Microlink

There will be panel discussions outlining recruitment issues, new technologies, and also live experience examples from disabled people in addition to Breakout Session options – there’s plenty to learn!

2 for 1 tickets available

Claim the BDF 2-for-1 offer and we’ll see you there! Simply add the code CONF241 in the ‘Where did you hear about this event?’ box on the event BDF Conference Booking Form, both for your own booking and that of the delegate covered by the offer.

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Scheduled Maintenance

Please be aware that today (21/03/2017) at 5:00pm there will be scheduled down time for routine maintenance.

To ensure the best up-time and stability of our services we are carrying out this maintenance during our quieter hours to ensure a smoother transition.

During this time several of our online systems will be unavailable including the website and our ITSPC quoting system.

Service will resume later in the evening and all of our web systems should promptly return to normal operation.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

The iansyst Technical Team.

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Assistive Technology Exhibition and Conference

ATEC London, 6th June 2017

ATEC London 2017

ATEC events are industry favourites, designed to support practitioners working in service delivery, research or policy development and provide new opportunities. The ATEC London 2017 is no different, showcasing excellence in assistive technology and focusing on tech that removes barriers to learning and work.

We’re therefore really pleased to announce that we will be exhibiting and leading a seminar there this summer. What can you expect when you come to see us?

See the future! We’re excited to see the latest new assistive tech solutions that will transform the learning and workspace environment. You’ll find leading assistive technology suppliers under one roof and ready to answer your questions.

Hear two exciting talks – one by Penny Mordaunt MP, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health & Work and another from Molly Watt, Ambassador and advocate of Molly Watt Trust and Sense.

Breakout seminars and an emphasis on CPD – through attendance you’ll receive CPD certificates. Our Dyscalculia Solutions & Resources seminar is led by Hilary Maddocks, an established dyscalculia expert working with students in FE & HE. Hilary will help you in seminar to ensure best practice now and in the future.

There are themed lunch speed dating sessions, where you can meet and discuss new studies and opportunities, swapping stories with the compatriots. The event puts delegates in touch with experts and encourages debate on the current big issues.

Book your place before the 7th April to claim your 15% Early Bird discount and we’ll see you there!

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The All Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology (APPGAT) launch

Assistive Technology Policy Group

This week, we were invited to enjoy the sublime Speaker’s House in the Palace of Westminster for the celebration of The All Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology (APPGAT) launch.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology has been set up to disseminate knowledge, generate debate and facilitate engagement on assistive technology amongst Members of both Houses of Parliament.



Guests were welcomed by the current Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP at this important event. Bercow discussed his major review of services for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and his report (The Bercow Report), published in 2008. The newest review (Bercow: Ten Years On) is being researched by I CAN and the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists (RCSLT).


Seema Malhotra MP, the nominated Chair for the APPGAT continued the welcome and highlighted the opportunities to the UK economy as a result of new disability employment, discussing the need to close the employment gap and create greater access in society as well as in the workplace.

There was an aspirational video, showcasing the benefits of assistive technology and a speech by Hannah Rose, a young assistive technology user, who highlighted the life changing importance of assistive technologies.

Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE, Britain’s celebrated Paralympic swimmer, followed on to discuss the empowering nature of assistive technologies in his journey through life. There are millions of similar examples of how assistive tech is transformational, he continued, not as a solution but as an enabler alongside everything else.

Leonard Cheshire spoke next and reflected on the extraordinary attitudinal changes to disability over the last 25 years and highlighted that there still remains a significant and unnecessary employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people.

The APPG AT will occupy an important space in the dialogue about employment and disability policy, more so now given the rapid pace of technological change. The first workstream for the APPG AT will be focused around addressing the disability employment gap. This is not only good for individuals but for the workforce as a whole.

Finally Becky Foreman, the UK Corporate Affairs Director for Microsoft (event sponsors) concluded the talks with a short speech on Microsoft’s mission to empower every human being and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.

What next?

Find out what happens at The All Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology via its website and on Twitter (@AT_APPG) – follow the hash tag  .

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Breakthrough on VAT

Breakthrough on VAT - Ian LitterickThanks to a ruling by HMRC, thousands of assistive technology systems will be free of VAT. Previously, only desktop systems with a processor, keyboard and monitor are available to be zero-rated. Mobile phones and computers will be zero-rated for VAT if they are preloaded with assistive technology software which is designed solely for the use of disabled people, says HMRC. This decision has been made following lengthy discussions with HMRC and a VAT tribunal that found in favour of iansyst Chairman and BATA council member, Ian Litterick (pictured left).

During the tribunal, iansyst argued that our assistive technology literacy support app, CapturaTalk, supplied with a smartphone was designed purely for people with disabilities and therefore should be zero-rated.

More information about the breakthrough on VAT can be found on the British Assistive Technology Association’s News Page.

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