Unsung heroes

Yesterday my old team, the BBC Accessibility Team, were honoured with a Knowbility Community Hero Accessibility Award for Institutional Achievement.

It is, on the surface of it, a small team comprised of Gareth Ford Williams, Ian Pouncey and Jamie Knight (I am now at The Paciello Group). They all  work extremely hard behind the scenes to create a framework within which the BBC can deliver accessible digital services across desktop, mobile and TV platforms connecting people with news, sport, weather, radio, TV – you name it – so it is a well deserved recognition.

We all however know that the reality is that while the Accessibility Team provide the all important accessibility framework and leadership, it is the individuals, teams and culture within the BBC that bring it to life. It is the support from designers, developers, managers, testers and stakeholders that make what the BBC does in this space what it is.


It was fitting therefore that Gareth chose to dedicate the award to a respected, valued and well loved colleague who we lost two weeks ago – Cathy Bartlett.

Cathy, who lead the Media Playout Team, was an absolute pleasure to work with, knew her stuff and built a solid team around her. I knew her from day one at the BBC and watched as she and her team turned the BBC Standard Media player around from a basic, fairly inaccessible offering into a beautifully designed, feature rich, accessible player that is truly world class.

On a professional level someone like Cathy doesn’t come along often however it is for her friendship, humour and positivity that I will miss her.  We had both recently left the BBC, we both lived in Brighton and we were both looking forward to more good times hanging out together.

My heart goes out to her family and her sister Claire who also is at the BBC.

Thank you Cathy for the legacy you left behind at BBC, your support, encouragement and most of all your friendship.