The Awards, now in their 11th year, were presented by Baroness Campbell at a ceremony at the British Library. Established in celebration of Jodi Mattes (1973-2001), who during her career at the British Museum and RNIB championed inclusivity for disabled people.
The 2015 winners list includes two innovative and inclusive library services and a groundbreaking new museum promoting worldwide discussion about human rights.
The Edinburgh based library service supports through new technology the information, learning and employment needs of its blind and partially-sighted users, whilst also linking them to community initiatives and social activity. The project has resulted in over 100 new users to the library service and new classes and reading groups have formed through connections made.
The Judges praised the proactivity and dedication of all involved in the project, and were especially impressed with the growth of the service in a short space of time.
The Finnish Association of the Deaf received an award in recognition of its pioneering new service, The Sign Language eLibrary of Finland. At its launch, this project made available 250 filmed sign language versions of books, and between one and three videos are added to the collection each week. The sign language eLibrary has been accepted as part of the library network in Finland. Not only does it support access to information in sign language, but it strengthens the identity of sign language users and brings Deaf culture to the fore.
Judges praised the national scale of this new project, and commended the positive role it plays in bridging gaps between communities.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights won an award for its commitment to complete accessibility in every aspect. The museum, located in Winnipeg, opened to the public in September 2014, and through 47,000 square feet of digitally rich mixed-media installations invites visitors to explore the subject of human rights, promoting respect for others and encouraging reflection and dialogue.
Judges praised the focus on seamless integration across the site, acknowledging that this museum stands out as a beacon of excellence in digital inclusivity, not only in Canada but worldwide.