CEO with dyslexia wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise

Education | South West | Technology


UK EdTech company Scanning Pens Ltd. has been recognised for their successes in the field of International Trade with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Created in 2003 by Oxford Brookes graduates Jack S. Churchill (CEO) and Toby Sutton (COO), 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.

Churchill himself has dyslexia. He worked tirelessly for the past decade to establish Scanning Pens at the heart of the global dyslexia community and to truly change the narrative for people with dyslexia and literacy differences.

Scanning Pens devices represent a huge quality-of-life change for neurodiverse people, and 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 a neurotypical person might. From working through a history exam or reading the latest bestsellers to the day-to-day admin tasks of running a business, their devices are designed to make reading accessible and simple, so that users can focus on what matters.

Alongside an expert team, Churchill & Sutton have directed Scanning Pens’ efforts in recent year not only towards supplying their award-winning text-to-speech technology to markets the world over, but also raising awareness of dyslexia and campaigning for greater support of people with low literacy. Gaining JCQ approval of their ExamReader pen so everyone can now access questions on exam papers in exams, creating a secure text-to-speech technology pen for use in business and prisons, and spearheading a global dyslexia positivity movement Succeed With Dyslexia, Scanning Pens have developed a uniquely hybrid model of tech supply and community engagement.

The Queen’s Award is appointed for sustained achievement by UK businesses in the categories of Innovation, International Trade, Sustainable Development, and Promoting Business via Social Mobility. Now in its 55th year, the programme is considered one of the highest awards for business in the country. Scanning Pens, too, are no stranger to the prestigious recognition of international business growth: in March 2021 the Department of International Trade recognised their outstanding international sales and named them Export Champions for the third year running.  As a company they proactively reach out and encourage other businesses to become exporters.

Churchill himself had this to say on the award: “To be recognised by the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is the highest honour in business. We’re thrilled that our dedication to literacy and reading accessibility has been acknowledged in such a way that celebrates the commitment of everybody here at Scanning Pens.”

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