Telford education technology company Scanning Pens Limited has been officially presented with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner, made the presentation at a VIP celebration which was also attended the High Sheriff of Shropshire, Tony Morris-Eyton.
The accolade, which celebrates Scanning Pens’ outstanding success in the field of international trade, and was presented to chief executive Jack S. Churchill and chief operating officer Toby Sutton.
The ceremony, at Hoar Cross Hall spa hotel, was also attended by their families and co-workers, plus representatives from the Department for International Trade, and members of the local government.
Created in 2003, Scanning Pens is a dedicated EdTech company supplying text-to-speech devices to people with dyslexia, as well as raising awareness of dyslexia worldwide and supporting people whose daily lives are impacted by literacy differences.
The company, which has a base at the Business & Technology Centre on the Priorslee university campus, offer a huge quality-of-life change for neurodiverse people. The devices work by allowing users to scan through and listen to texts via an audio feedback system.
Removing the need for in-person readers and modified texts, they make reading an independent act, and help people who struggle with reading able to engage with texts in the same way that others might.
Jack said: “We are over the moon to have our work recognised in this way.
“Our company came together for the first time in two years to receive the award and celebrate. This award encourages us to redouble our efforts to support more people to overcome their struggles with weak literacy.”
Scanning Pens has dedicated the past 18 months to exploring what new opportunities they can offer to people with dyslexia and literacy differences during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as continuing to support the markets that rely on their award-winning text-to-speech technology.
The last three years has seen a significant increase in the company’s overseas markets growing from one UK office and 10 UK staff, to two UK offices, and one office each in USA, Australia, Canada, and India with more than 80 staff around the world.
The Queen’s Award is the latest in a series of accolades which Scanning Pens Limited has received.
In March this year the Department of International Trade recognised the company’s outstanding international sales and named it an Export Champion for the third year running.
According to Dyslexia International in 2017, around 5-10% of the world’s population experience dyslexia related challenges in their day-to-day lives, which equates to around 700 million people worldwide.
Scanning Pens Limited says the stigma surrounding reading challenges such as these still exist, and wants those who have or are yet to be diagnosed to feel like their voices are heard.