Cork firm UrAbility scoops United Nations prize

James Northbridge, UrAbility
James Northbridge, UrAbility

Assistive tech company sole Irish finalist in global competition



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17 September 2020 | 0

Cork-based UrAbility has won a prestigious Zero Project Award at the United Nations. The company was chosen from more than 450 nominations across 80 countries and was the only company from Ireland.

UrAbility offers 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.

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.




Having Dyslexia himself and ADHD, founder James Northbridge dropped out of college before finding assistive technology to get back on track.

“We have had a very busy time since lockdown in March,” said Northbridge. “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.”

Northbridge is a graduate of the Ignite programme at UCC and a recipient of a business expansion grant from the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Cork City.

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