BATA Council members

Antony Ruck (Chair): Assistive Technology Consultant

Antony Ruck of Archent Consulting has worked in the AT industry for over 15 years at senior management level, working with manufacturers, publishers and service providers to deliver first class products and customer experience. Now working as a freelance AT Industry Consultant, Antony provides information, advice and guidance on service delivery, operations, commercial development, sales and marketing, and event management.



Antony Ruck

Rick Bell (Vice Chair): Texthelp

Rick Bell, Head of Education at Texthelp Ltd, a world leading provider of literacy support assistive technology. Texthelp believes in digital inclusion and that absolutely everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential – in education, in the workplace and in later life too.







John Lamb (Executive Director)

John Lamb has been the publisher and editor of Ability about technology for disabled people. As a journalist John has covered information technology developments for nearly 40 years. He is a member of the BCS Digital Accessibility Specialist Group and the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists' Accessibility Panel.



John Lamb

Carolyne Smith (Secretary): Sight and Sound Technology

Carolyne Smith is the DSA business manager at Sight and Sound Technology. Carolyne manages all strategic, commercial and delivery aspects of their education business. She has worked in the industry for over 12 years.

Carolyne Smith

Sarah-Jane Peake (Director): Launchpad Assistive Technology

Sarah-Jane Peake is the founder of Launchpad Assistive Technology - a provider of AT training with integrated study strategies. As a consultant and learning strategist, Sarah-Jane has worked on a diverse range of projects with leading AT software publishers. She also recently launched a new YouTube tutorial channel, Launchpad TV and is one of the people behind FindMyFlow a new online AT training resource for students.


Sarah-Jane Peake

Myles Pilling (Co-opted): AccessAbility Solutions

Myles Pilling is an accessibility consultant at AccessAbility Solutions. Myles has over 30 years’ teaching experience. Myles was an Adviser for 10 years for a Local Authority where he operated a loan bank of ICT equipment. He is also a part-time external lecturer for Bath Spa University. He is a parent of an adult with learning disabilities. Has been involved with ICT and SEN since the early 80s and has a passion to see pupils reach their full potential through the use of ICT.

Myles Pilling




David Atkinson (Co-opted): Wyvern Business Systems

David Atkinson has worked in the assistive technology industry for nearly 10 years. Initially, he worked as a trainer, gaining a reputation for good training skills, very much helped by his own experience of dyslexia. He is currently Chair of the ATSP Special Interest Group of BATA and Business Development Manager for Wyvern Business Systems .His passion for helping people with learning difficulties is said to enthuse others around him and in the last year David has designed, developed and put to market a training portal with over 300 videos and PDFs.



David Atkinson

Matthew Dean (Co-opted): Assistive Technology Consultant

Matthew Dean is an assistive technology consultant working with clients across the education, corporate and public sectors to identify the right solution for individuals and organisations. With extensive insight into cloud-based and integrated software products, Matt has previously worked in both the DSA and corporate sector.



Matthew Dean

Paul Doyle (Co-opted):

Bush & Company


Paul Doyle has been engaged in the field of Assistive Technology since 1995 in a variety of operational and strategic roles. He currently is an expert witness for Assistive Technology at Bush & Company. Prior to that he was at Hereward College  (which played an integral role in the origin and development of the Disabled Students Allowance programme).

Paul also leads a team of researchers undertaking projects in and around the field of assistive technology, with objectives as diverse as capturing the user experience of innovations in AT to workforce development requirements projects for the assessment and installation of telehealth and telecare assistive technologies.


Paul Doyle

Sal Cooke (Co-opted): Independent

Sal Cooke was until recently Director of JISC TechDis. Having worked in the transport industry for a time, Sal returned to teach in Schools, Colleges of Further Education and the University Sector in Yorkshire and Humberside. Sal was seconded to various national agencies including the then Department for Education and Skills, working on the e-learning programmes and the Harnessing Technology Strategy. Currently Sal is personally particularly interested and involved with the work of the Independent Specialist Colleges sector. 




Sal Cooke

Jack Churchill (Co-opted): Scanning Pens

Jack Churchill is the Co-founder and CEO of Scanning Pens, the world’s leading supplier of portable pen scanners. Scanning Pens provide AT devices that support struggling readers in the classroom, exam hall and workplace. Jack takes an active interest in the fast-developing worlds of dyslexia and assistive technology.




Jack Churchill

Paul Smyth (Co-opted):        Barclays

Paul Smyth is responsible for identifying, anticipating and addressing technological barriers faced by disabled and older customers and colleagues in doing business with or being employed by Barclays . His remit includes equipping digital and change teams with training and tools, boosting business awareness, setting/policing accessibility standards and measuring the benefits that accessibility brings.



Paul Smyth

Louise Warriar (Co-Opted)

DSA Needs Assessor


Louise is a Consultant DSA Needs Assessor with a background in one-to-one support and assistive technology. She has been supporting students with disabilities in Higher Education for over 15 years, focusing on assessing for the last eight years




Esther Dakin-Poole (Co-Opted):

Smile Smart Technology


Esther is Head of Education and Development at Smile Smart Technology, manufacturer of the Drivedeck, Smile Smart System powerchairs and specialists in mounting, neurodisability switching and controls. Her background is in anthropology, international relations, business, design and manufacturing with historic regional focus on East and Southern Africa and South East Asia. 



Clive Gilbert (Co-Opted): Policy Connect 


Clive is Policy Manager, Assistive Technology at Policy Connect. He has held public policy researcher roles at Scope and the Policy Research Unit. He has also worked as an independent consultant and writer on disability, education and skills, health and social services to organisations across the public, private and charitable sectors