Championing AT: BATA's ten-year timeline

27 January 2021

BATA the first ten years: a timeline of key moments


December 2020

Online conference Reimagining DSA Summit draws record numbers for a BATA event.

June 2020

UK essential Assistive Products List (APL) survey, compiled by Esther Dakin-Poole in conjunction with the World Health Organisation’s Global Cooperation Assistive Technology (GATE) programme goes live.

February 2020

Rick Bell becomes BATA chair

January 2020

Government announces its intention to publish a National Disability Strategy “to transform the lives of disabled people”.

December 2019

Under the co-chairmanship of Antony Ruck, European AT companies band together to form a European industry association for digital assistive technology called DATEurope.

November 2019

BATA signs Bologna Declaration calling for action to improve access to AT and joins Global Alliance of Assistive Technology Organisations.

October 2019

Council member Paul Smyth nominated to Shaw Trust’s Power100, a roll call of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK.

April 2019

New-look website unveiled by Myles Pilling.

August 2018

Delegates to the DSA Summit in July at Northampton University took a number of important decisions that shaped BATA’s policy towards AT in higher education.

May 2018

Meeting with America’s Assistive Technology Industry Association at the House of Lords.

March 2018

Disabled employees benefit from a £15,000 rise in Access to Work grants to assist them at work, following new measures introduced in Parliament.

January 2018

The Work and Pensions Select Committee, which oversees the work of the Department for Work and Pensions, launches an inquiry into assistive technology and receives evidence from BATA.

September 2017

First sponsored walk led by Sarah-Jane Peake takes place in Derbyshire’s Dales amid torrential rain.

May 2017

BATA becomes a founding member of the newly formed All-Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology.

September 2016

Members are surveyed on what qualifications they have and how important they are in gaining employment in the AT sector.

October 2015

HMRC consults BATA on review of the VAT concession on computers for disabled people, which results in a redraft of the rules by then council member Ian Litterick.

September 2015

The introduction of a £200 charge for laptops supplied via Disabled Students’ Allowances triggers a sustained campaign against what BATA sees as a barrier to learning in higher education. Over the next five years, nine attempts to reform DSA ended in failure after BATA pointed out flaws in the proposals. 

July 2015

BATA publishes its charter as a statement of the responsibilities and undertakings of the individuals and organisations who work with assistive technology products and services.

February 2015

Antony Ruck appointed chair of BATA.

November 2014

Members demonstrate AT to some of the world’s largest buyers and suppliers of ICT in the world at a technology swap-shop organised by the Business Disability Forum.

October 2014

Educationalists come together to discuss the future of exam accessibility at a meeting in London.

July 2014

John Lamb takes over as Executive Director.

March 2014

Government announces review of DSA.  BATA responds.

December 2013

BATA publishes a baseline research document that establishes the scope of the AT sector in the UK, the number of jobs it provides and its value to the economy in terms of GDP.

September 2012

Barbara Philips addresses the Global Business Summit on Advances in Assistive Medical Technologies at Lancaster House in London.

February 2012

Mark McCusker, CEO of Texthelp, appointed chair.

September 2011

The first special interest group – for DSA AT Providers – is set up. By January 2021 the SIG had been joined by 15 others.

July 2011

BATA’s popular Export Day put on in conjunction with UK Trade and Industry provides insight into overseas markets.

July 2011

Barbara Philips appointed first Executive Director.

January 2010

BATA launched during BETT at the Olympia Hilton hotel with Martin Littler in the chair. Littler declares: “Banding together offers new and cost-effective opportunities for influence and for publicity of AT”.