The Board comprises twelve people (5 officers, and 7 ordinary members), many of whom are 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.


Board Officers

President: Lord Colin Low of Dalston


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

Re-elected: 2017 AGM

Due for re-election: 2020 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): Roger Firman, Golden Chord

Elected: 2019

Due for re-election: 2022


Secretary (Board Officer): David Scott, Vision Support Trading Trading

Elected as Ordinary Board Member: 2015

Elected as Secretary: 2019 AGM

Due for re-election: 2022 AGM

My name is David Scott and for the last eleven years I have been managing director of Vision Support Trading Ltd (VST), one of the largest independent accessible 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. If elected company secretary I would like to continue to contribute to raising awareness of accessible formats, increasing the market for our members and ensuring more people with a vision impairment receive these services.

Treasurer (Board Officer): Sharon Williams, Pia

Elected as Treasurer: 2009

Re-elected: 2018 AGM

Due for re-election: 2021 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): Carina Birt, Sarum PR

Carina Birt Photograph

Elected as Public Relations Officer: 2018

Due for re-election: 2021 AGM

Carina has been delivering award-winning PR and communication services to software and services companies since 1994.  Prior to setting up Sarum PR, Carina held a number of  senior management positions with document management, workflow and ECM technology companies.

For the past 20 years Carina has run Sarum PR – planning and executing strategic PR campaigns for B2B software companies worldwide. Her longstanding client experience spans both established and start-up companies and includes technologies such as ECM, business intelligence, analytics, ERP, graph databases, voice recognition, open source and cloud.

Carina is the recipient of several PR industry awards including the League of Communications Professionals where she won the Magellan Award for a top 50 global communications campaign for both the Neo Technology Panama Papers PR campaign and the Actuate Open Source Survey PR campaign.

Ordinary Board Members

Ordinary Board Member: Jim McCafferty, Scottish Braille Press

Elected: 2011 AGMJim McCafferty

Re-elected: 2014 AGM

Re-elected: 2017 AGM

Due for re-election: 2020 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: Alison Long, RNIB

Co-opted: 2017

Elected: 2018 AGM

Due for re-election: 2021

Biography: Alison has been at RNIB for over 28 years, for most of that time heavily involved in children’s publishing services and product development. In her current role of Senior Manager for Reading Services she manages RNIB Bookshare, Newsagent and braille services.

Ordinary Board Member: 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: 2022 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.

Ordinary Board Member: Jeff Mills, Grackledocs

Elected: 2017 AGM

Jeff Mills Portrait

Re-elected: 2018 AGM

Due for re-election: 2021 AGM


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.

Ordinary Board Member: Tim Nelms

Co-opted: 2018

Elected: 2018 AGM

Due for re-election: 2019 AGM

Starting my professional career as a software engineer, I have worked in the IT industry for the past 30 years. As VP Strategic Alliances and Internal with Crawford Technologies I run both our international business and also manage global relationships with technology partners. Crawford Technologies relies heavily on open standards for our software solutions and we currently contribute time and funding to standards bodies including the PDF Association, the AFP Consortium, Xplor and ISO.

As a board member, I want to ensure that UKAAF has access to the best skills and resources for its standards engineering activities. In addition, I want to ensure that UKAAF develops and sustains strong partnerships with vendors and other standards bodies so that we ensure the UK benefits from access to the latest developments in accessible document standards.