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Government offers £1m in funding to develop assistive technology

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Learners with disabilities or learning difficulties could enjoy greater independence and improved access to training and education thanks to a Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Technology Strategy Board (TSB) competition, run by Jisc TechDis a part of Jisc, calling for groundbreaking product designs. One million pounds worth of funding is being made available for two competitions - ‘ready steady STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)’ and ‘Good to go’ (see notes to editors). These are aimed at technology developers and ask designers to invent new products which will help those with disabilities and learning difficulties gain independence and, access to work, training and education. Skills minister, Matthew Hancock says: “It is important that as many people as possible have the chance to play an active part in society and have access to whatever training they need. "Competitions like these help to drive innovation and will hopefully produce some very interesting results that will widen access to those with learning difficulties or disabilities." Stephen Browning, head of Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) says: “This is another exciting SBRI competition which will give an opportunity for business to bring new ideas to address these important challenges.” Sal Cooke, director of Jisc TechDis says: “Equality of opportunity should be available to everyone regardless of circumstance and these competitions are an important part of our support for independent learning, working and living.” The deadline for applications is 4 November 2013. Competition briefs and application forms are available on the Jisc TechDis website. For more information please contact Allison Loftfield, online information and communications manager at Jisc TechDis -  or 01904 717542.  - See more at: