Cork company wins United Nations award

20 September 2020
By Mary Bermingham

UrAbility is a Cork firm which helps young people overcome their challenges in education by using technology.

The firm – which previously featured on Dragon’s Den – has just won a prestigious Zero Project Award at the United Nations. It was the only Irish company selected as one of the top 75 Innovative Practices that support people with disabilities in education worldwide.

The company now has plans to grow its business by expanding into new markets such as the UK, Europe and the Middle East. They are also planning to grow by hiring new staff over the coming months.

James Northridge, founder of UrAbility, which is an online training tool for parents and educators.
Pic Darragh Kane

Having Dyslexia himself and ADHD, James has an understanding of the challenges and that helps hime connect with families so much better. James dropped out of college before finding assistive technology to get back on track.

James Northridge, founder of UrAbility said:

“We are trying to change how kids with learning difficulties experience education by upskilling their parents and educators. We are absolutely delighted to be a Zero Project awardee, thank you so much for selecting us, it means an awful lot to us in terms of an organisation, in terms of the research we have done, and growing what we are trying to do from here on in.”

UrAbility is a company, offering training courses for educators and parents on how to use assistive technology (AT) to support their students and children with learning disabilities. In 2019, UrAbility launched its training programmes through an online tool that selects the most appropriate course for the user according to the type of AT most suitable for a particular child. By the end of 2019, more than 1,200 teachers and parents have subscribed to the online platform and some 2,400 hours of online training have been completed.

James added:

“We have had a very busy time since lockdown in March. Our online courses have been super busy the last few months with both parents, teachers and SNAs. We are in the middle of scaling into the UK market. Also, we are developing a technology selection tool for parents to allow them to auto select technology based on their child’s challenges – this is currently in development.”

James is a graduate of the IGNITE programme at UCC and was also a recipient of a Business Expansion Grant from the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Cork City.

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