iSightCornwall Trustee Awarded for Engineering Innovations

October 6, 2023 11:23 am

iSightCornwall Trustee wins prestigious engineering award

An iSightCornwall trustee has been given a prestigious award for his innovative product design and development.

Steve Holyer has been a member of iSightCornwall for more than 30 years and on the board of trustees for five years but when he is not busy helping to shape the future of the charity, he spends his time inventing and creating new products to help blind or partially sighted people like himself.

The Director of Research and founding director of easyAccessibility, formerly known as Adi Access, Steve’s biggest success story is The RoomMate which has helped make public toilets accessible to thousands.

The RoomMate

An electronic, wall-mounted device, The RoomMate offers an audio description of the facilities to users, customised to the bathroom, it identifies where the sink, bathroom, bins and everything inside the room are.

The RoomMate has been installed in hundreds of destinations, from iSightCornwall’s own toilet to Saint Michael’s Mount and all the way to locations in Berkshire, Brighton and Hove and beyond. Steve and the team at easyAccessibility have worked tirelessly to help improve access to public toilets for people who are blind or partially sighted and it was this devotion and dedication to creating and improving The RoomMate which caught the attention of Institution of Engineering Designers (IED).

The Institution of Engineering Designers

The IED is a British professional engineering institution founded in 1945, they are the UK’s only professional body representing those working in the fields of Engineering and Technological Product Design and every year the IED seeks and considers nominations for a number of awards to promote and recognise outstanding achievement in the industry.  Nominations come from members of the IED and recipients are chosen by the IED council themselves.

This year the IED’s Council named Steve as the winner of the Alex Moulton Award which is awarded to ‘an individual or a company in recognition of development of an innovative product’.

The council were impressed by The RoomMate as well as Steve’s more recent creation, the Huju All Terrain Cane Tip which can be added to Ambutech long and guide canes to help the user use their cane on surfaces such as grass, sand and gravel. Steve was invited to accept the Alex Moulton Award at a prestigious ceremony at the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland.

Steve’s Thoughts

He said: “It was a complete surprise; I got a letter out of the blue saying I had been nominated and then another saying I had won. It’s particularly meaningful because all of the members of the institute vote for the nominations so it was brilliant to be chosen.

“We had a lovely time at the awards themselves, we got to travel all the way up to Scotland to the Falkirk Wheel, which is an absolute feat of engineering, and enjoyed a meal and a tour of the wheel.”

Carole Theobald

Carole, Chief Executive of iSightCornwall, said: “This is such a fantastic achievement and we’re all proud of Steve and so glad to have his expertise and experience on our board of trustees.

“The fact that this award was for The RoomMate and the Huju Cane tip is really great as both were created to help give people with sight loss more independence so to see them getting that recognition is fantastic.”

For more information on The RoomMate, visit easyAccessibility’s website by clicking here or for more information on the Huju Tip, click here.

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