BATA council member Sal Cooke has been awarded an OBE for services to further education accessibility and inclusion.
Sal has taught in schools and in further and higher education institutions.In the early 1980s, she was seconded as the curriculum manager for the Yorkshire and Humber regional centre where she was to introduce technology to the curriculum of further education colleges as technology moved from the BBC computers to the first PCs.
As a result of the success of this project, Sal was seconded to Becta and subsequently other organisations, where she worked with partners such as the BBC, the funding councils and the Learning & Teaching Subject Network (a precursor of the Higher Education Academy).
This led to her working at the Department of Education and Skills as an adviser where she was integral to the creation of the e-learning strategies in higher and further education.
In 2000 Sal was asked to sit on one of the Jisc committees and took a lead role in the formation of the Jisc Regional Support Centres and was chair of their UK board for the first three years.
Sal became the director of Jisc TechDis, the Jisc advisory service that provided advice on technologies for inclusion. She stepped down when Techdis was absorbed into Jisc at the end of 2014. Sal is also a serving trustee of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Other accessibility campaigners honoured in the New Year’s honours list include Graeme Whippy, senior manager, group disability programme, Lloyds Banking Group for services to people with dementia and disabilities. Graeme is responsible for digital accessibility at the bank.