Andrew Thomson received the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in 2008.
Andrew, from Grangemouth in Scotland, is a director of Sign-now.com, a web-based video conferencing translation service which enables deaf people to communicate with the hearing public. He has been profoundly deaf since birth and uses British Sign Language as his main means of communication.
Commenting on the award, Andrew Thomson said: ‘It's a great honour to have won this fantastic award and to have Sign-now.com recognised in this way. There are only 25 full-time BSL interpreters in Scotland for 7,000 sign language users. This places a huge demand on skilled communicators. With an online facility like Sign-now.com it gives those with hearing impairments the opportunity to access an interpreter quickly and easily.’
The £50,000 will be used to continue the growth of the business, enabling it to reach out to new clients and expand its service to existing customers.
Andrew also stated that: ‘For the business to grow, it is all about gaining the confidence of not only our clients but the trust and support of the interpreters we employ. I believe that a positive approach is the way to overcome the fear, prejudice and misconception that often stands in the way of disabled people.’