Board

The Board comprises twelve people (6 officers, and 6 ordinary members), many of whom are blind or partially sighted.  Positions are allocated on a rolling 1, 2 and 3 year basis since the first AGM so that one-third of the board is re-elected at each AGM.  We are proud to have as our President an eminent advocate for the rights of disabled people, Lord Low of Dalston CBE.

  1. President: Lord Colin Low of Dalston
  2. Chair (Board Officer): Richard West, BCAB
  3. Vice Chair (Board Officer): VACANT
  4. Secretary (Board Officer): Michael Lewington, Calibre Audio Library
  5. Treasurer (Board Officer): Sharon Williams, Pia
  6. Public Relations Officer (Board Officer): Susan Day, V I Resourcing Ltd
  7. User Advisory Group Chair (Board Officer): VACANT
  8. Ordinary Board Member 1: Jim McCafferty, Scottish Braille Press
  9. Ordinary Board Member 2: Steve Tyler, RNIB
  10. Ordinary Board Member 3: Mandy White, RNIB
  11. Ordinary Board Member 4: Ian Jentle, RNIB Trustee
  12. Ordinary Board Member 5: David Scott, Vision Support Trading
  13. Ordinary Board Member 6: Jeff Mills, Grackledocs
  14. Email List

 

Board Officers

President: Lord Colin Low of Dalston

Colin-Low-

Colin is President of the European Blind Union (EBU) and has held the position of Chair of RNIB since 2000. Born in Edinburgh in 1942 and totally blind since the age of three, he was educated at Worcester College for the Blind, Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

He taught Law and criminology for 16 years at Leeds University, from 1968-1984, before moving to London as Director of the Disability Resource Team, an organisation providing advice and services on disability. He then went on to become senior research fellow at City University, researching theories of disability; a post he retired from in 2000.

In May 2006 Colin was appointed to the House of Lords as one of the seven new non-party-political peers. He was recommended by the House of Lords Appointments Commission for his work as Chairman of RNIB, President of the European Blind Union and as a long-time campaigner for disability rights.

Colin has also undertaken important roles in a wide range of organisations concerned with blindness and disability, including the National Federation of the Blind, the Disability Alliance, the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment and SKILL (National Bureau for Students with Disabilities).

Colin had been previously honoured to receive a CBE for services to RNIB and disabled peoples’ rights in January 2000. Colin is married to Jill and has two children, Peter and Philippa. His leisure interests include music, current affairs and an appreciation of fine wines.

Chair (Board Officer): Richard West, BCAB

Appointed as Ordinary Board Member: 2009

Re-elected as Ordinary Board Member: 2013 AGM

Elected as Chair: 2014 AGM

Due for re-election: 2017 AGM

Richard West originally trained as a shorthand typist, but for the last 40 years has worked in the IT industry.  He is a member of the British Computer Society. He has also been the Chair of BCAB, and represented BCAB on BAUK for many years.

Although no longer in full-time employment, he keeps busy serving on several committees, including being appointed to the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee and being Secretary of the Norfolk Branch of the National Federation of the Blind, UK.

Vice Chair (Board Officer): VACANT

Elected:

Due for re-election:

Biography:

Secretary (Board Officer): Michael Lewington, Calibre Audio Library

Mike Lewington

Elected as Ordinary Board Member: 2009

Elected as Secretary: 2010 AGM

Re-elected: 2013 AGM

Due for re-election: 2016 AGM

Michael started working the Charitable Sector in September 2007. He had previously served in the Army for 32 years then as a Company Secretary for a financial regulator  in London. As the Director of Calibre Audio Library his main sphere is audio leisure reading for young people and adults. As one of the Vice Chairs of the Right to Read alliance, and a Share the Vision board member he believes that it is imperative to campaign for all material to be available in accessible formats.

The alliance is campaigning to ensure greater access to the “same book, the same day, at the same price”. Share The Vision seeks to enhance library services for people with sight loss. We need greater cooperation between publicly funded libraries, and the voluntary sector, which produces and lends alternative format materials. It is vitally important all accessible material is to an approved standard and meets the needs of people with sight loss.  UKAAF is in an excellent position to identify and promote the necessary standards.  He looks forward to assisting in the achievement of the UKAAF role.

Treasurer (Board Officer): Sharon Williams, Pia

Elected as Treasurer: 2009

Re-elected: 2012 AGM

Due for re-election: 2015 AGM

Sharon has been with Pia since 1999, and since becoming Managing Director in 2005, she has ensured that Pia has maintained its active role in the industry’s representative organisations. Through Pia’s involvement in those organisations, she was fortunate enough to be volunteered to help with the merging of the three organisations and the forming of UKAAF. She stated she was honoured to have been invited to be the first treasurer of the new organisation and hope to be able to help create a professional and powerful representative body for the accessible format industry. Always enthusiastic about UKAAF’s role in promoting the availability and standards of accessible formats, and she hopes to play a significant part in driving that agenda.

Public Relations Officer (Board Officer): Sue Day, V I Resourcing Ltd T/as Connect

Co-opted as Ordinary Board Member: 2013Sue Day

Elected as PRO: 2014 AGM

Due for re-election: 2017 AGM

Sue has been a Director of V I Resourcing Limited for the last 8 years – a company which specialises in the modification and transcription of educational resources for young people with a print impairment. She works closely with representatives from national organisations and awarding bodies both nationally and internationally in the field of education. Sue is a Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired (QTVI) and has worked in management positions in mainstream schools and still spends time in schools with children and young people with a print impairment. Sue is very keen that young people who have a print impairment have access to high quality accessible formats. “I am very excited to be involved in the future of UKAAF as I believe that the organisation has a really important role to play in the promotion of accessibility.”

User Advisory Group Chair (Board Officer): VACANT

Appointed as Secretary:

Elected as Ordinary Board Member:

Elected as UAG Chair:

Due for re-election: 2016 AGM

 

Ordinary Board Members

Ordinary Board Member: Jim McCafferty, Scottish Braille Press

Elected: 2011 AGMJim McCafferty

Re-elected: 2014 AGM

Due for re-election: 2017 AGM

Biography: I have worked at the Scottish Braille Press in Edinburgh for over 33 years, initially as a transcriber and currently as proof-reader. I was a member of the Braille Authority for almost 30 years, and now represent SBP on UKAAF, and serve on the Braille Production and Technology group which is part of the Braille subject area. Braille is my main method of communication. Like many visually impaired people I use other means, and I am keen to promote any medium which enhances the ability to communicate.

 

Ordinary Board Member: Steve Tyler, RNIB

Elected: 2015Steve Tyler

Due for re-election: 2018 AGM

Biography: My background is in Psychology and Artificial Intelligence – but I worked for the NHS for a short time as an assistant clinical psychologist. In my more substantive career I have worked for RNIB and now head our strategy and planning area in RNIB solutions with responsibility for new initiatives, partnerships (primarily technology based ones) and have responsibility for our overall strategy within the division. I have a Masters in Business Administration.

Ordinary Board Member: Mandy White, RNIB

Elected: 2015Mandy White

Due for re-election: 2016 AGM

Biography: I started work for RNIB as a volunteer in 1989. I read different kinds of information onto cassette tape – from knitting patterns to the Ethics of Aristotle and everything in between! I have had many different roles within RNIB but they have all been focussed around Accessible Information. I work as a project manager and became involved more closely with braille when I was asked to co-ordinate RNIB’s activity around the celebration of Louis Braille’s bicentenary in 2009. In 2010 I was asked to set up the braille subject area within UKAAF and have been lucky enough to recruit a range of very committed, knowledgeable and enthusiastic members of the different working groups. We have achieved a lot in the past few years particularly with respect to the implementation, in the UK, of the new Unified English Braille code (UEB). I look forward to building on this work and also broadening my involvement, in my new role on the UKAAF board

Ordinary Board Member: Ian Jentle, RNIB Trustee

Elected: 2015Ian Jentle cropped

Due for re-election: 2016 AGM

Biography: I spent most of my working life as an actor on stage, film and T.V. Eventually diagnosed in 1986 with Staagarts, I retired from show biz and trained as a volunteer advocate for disabled people. I was appointed to the board of Sadler’s Wells with responsibility for ensuring the accessible operation of the company. I also served on the London Regional Arts Council with a similar brief. I was a trustee of my local disable people’s organisation and served as vice-chair, chair and company secretary.  Currently, I am chair of Extant, a blind people’s performing arts company as well as being a trustee of RNIB.

Ordinary Board Member: David Scott, Vision Support Trading Ltd

Elected: 2015

Due for re-election: 2017

Biography:  Since January 2008 I have been Managing Director of Vision Support Trading Ltd (VST), one of the largest independent alternative format providers in the UK.  VST are owned by Vision Support, a charity serving the vision impaired, and all our profits go to assisting their work.  I have been a member of UKAAF practically since its inception.

Following my election to the board in June 2015 I hope to contribute to raising awareness of alternative formats, increasing the market for our members and ensuring more people with a vision impairment receive these services to a consistently high standard.

Ordinary Board Member: Jeff Mills, Grackledocs

Co-opted: 2017

Due for re-election:

Biography:

Over 25 years in the document industry. Previously the Managing Director of Xenos Europe Ltd, a software company creating PDF/UA directly from electronic print data streams. Also involved in the first project worldwide creating accessible PDF statements for the web en masse.

Has also worked for various clients including Crawford Technologies who create accessible printed output such as PDF/UA, Large Print, Braille and audio from data streams.

Recently formed another company (GrackleDocs Inc.) to make output from Google products more accessible. The first product is a free download from the Google Marketplace and will remediate any Google Doc as well as producing PDF/UA.

Email List

richard.west08@gmail.com; michael.lewington@calibre.org.uk; sw@pia.co.uk; sday@viresourcing.co.uk; sheilaa@torchtrust.org; jim.242c@gmail.com; sarah.m.jones@swansea.ac.uk; steve.tyler@rnib.org.uk; mandy.white@rnib.org.uk; ijentle@gmail.com;