AbilityNet’s Head of Digital Inclusion receives honorary doctorate from the University of Suffolk

On Friday 22nd of October 2021, AbilityNet’s Head of Digital Inclusion, Robin Christopherson MBE, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Computer Science department of the University of Suffolk. The award was given in recognition of his work in the field of assistive technology and digital accessibility over the past 25 years.

Image of Robin Christopherson in red regalia
Presented by Chancellor of the University, Dr Helen Pankhurst, Robin said “I feel hugely honoured and unworthy - all I have done is ‘played’ with technology for 25 years, admittedly in an area which is incredibly empowering for people with disabilities. Technology is so amazing in levelling the playing field and enabling people to reach their full potential.”

Chancellor of the University, Dr Helen Pankhurst awarding Robin Christopherson at the ceremony. Beside Robin stands his guide dog, Hugo.
With his guide dog Hugo also in suitable regalia, Robin received his honorary doctorate in front of students graduating in courses such as Computer Games Design, Mobile and Web Engineering and Network Engineering.

Robin had this message for the students: “The key message I would like them to take away is that inclusive design makes better products for everybody. If you can make them in such a way that they are useable for people with more extreme needs, then they are going to be extremely usable for every user. Accessibility just makes for better products - and who doesn’t want to make the best products possible?”

Robin's dog Hugo in red regalia and graduation cap
More about Robin Christopherson MBE

After studying engineering at Cambridge University, Robin Christopherson worked as an IT instructor for the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) before becoming a founding member of UK tech charity, AbilityNet. The charity specialises in advising individuals on technology to help them at home, in education and in the workplace, and helping companies design attractive websites, software and apps that are easy to use by all.

Robin has been a leading expert on accessibility and digital inclusion for over two decades and a regular speaker raising awareness of the power and potential of technology to transform people's lives.
Being blind himself, Robin is passionate about all areas of technology and his work was recognised with the award of an MBE in the 2017 Queen's New Year’s Honours list for services to digital inclusion.

Robin is also a member of the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Disability (APPGD) and Assistive Technology (APPGAT) and was included in the 'Power 100' list of the UK’s most influential people with disabilities last year, as well as the UN's ‘World's top 100 most influential people in digital government’ list the year before - voted by more than 500 organisations including governments and global NGOs.

Further resources

How AbilityNet can help

AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help disabled people and older people.

  • Call our free Helpline. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution. We're open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm on 0800 048 7642
  • We have a range of factsheets that talk in detail about technology that might help you, which you can download for free. You may find our factsheets about voice recognition and keyboard alternatives useful.
  • My Computer My Way. A free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

AbilityNet accessibility services

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