Martin Littler came up with the British Assistive Technology Scholarship idea in back in 2019 while traveling on London’s number 88 bus. His idea was to send assistive technology specialists to the World’s leading ATech conference in Orlando each year – picking up the conference registration, air travel, and hotel costs.
“The sort of AT scholars we wanted would have plenty of good practise to tell the conference about. “On return the AT scholars could spread the word about the latest developments elsewhere on the planet, which would benefit disabled people here” he added.
Martin had previously founded Inclusive Technology Ltd in Oldham and Inclusive TLC, Inc. in New Jersey.
The 1988 ‘Micros for Special Needs Exhibition’ was Martin’s first major effort to spread the word on how technology can help. The actual term ‘Assistive Technology’ was coined in the same year by the United States Congress.
He has been keen to spread the word on the benefits of ATech for 40 years. He was in at the start of the Chicago based Assistive Technology Industry Association at the turn of the century and founded the British Assistive Technology Association BATA in 2012. In 2016 he worked with Anna Reeves to kickstart the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology. Anna later became the pioneering first British Assistive Technology Scholar.
At 75, Martin is now retired from the Assistive Technology world but is happy the leave the Scholarship as his legacy.
He says: “Assistive Technology has given me a fascinating life for 40 years now. It’s great to be able to put something back”.