Sharlyn was selected by CATA’s Women in Technology (WIT) Forum as this year’s award recipient, which recognizes top women in their field who have demonstrated the most
outstanding technological innovation and corporate leadership. The award was sponsored this year by the Centre for Research and Education on Women and Work and the Sprott School of Business, both of Carleton University.
As a blind entrepreneur, Sharlyn inspired the technology behind T-Base, which provides organizations with alternate format (braille, large print, e-Text and audio) statements and documents in order to meet the diverse information needs of their aging, blind, deafblind and partially sighted customers.
Initially employed within the high-tech industry, Sharlyn’s career path was unexpectedly redirected when she suddenly lost her sight. Resulting from her inability to decipher conventional print documents such as her monthly bills and account statements without assistance, she launched T-Base with the mission of ensuring that all blind, deafblind and partially sighted consumers are able to receive correspondence in an accessible format of choice, and are afforded equal protection, privacy and security rights.
Pioneering alternate format standards with an intimate knowledge of the services that both clients and consumers require, Sharlyn well exemplifies the purpose of the Sara Kirke Award, which celebrates innovation, entrepreneurship and creates positive role models for women.
“In judging the nominees for the award, the Selection Committee was looking for women leaders who demonstrate consistent innovation and leadership skills, resulting in the creation and international acceptance of significant world-class products. We were thrilled that Sharlyn was chosen as this year’s recipient, maintaining her vision against all odds,” said Joanne Stanley, Managing Director of CATA WIT Forum.
The award was formally presented to Sharlyn by Dr. Roseann Runte, President and Vice-Chancellor of Carleton University. “I am truly honoured to have received this award, and I am very proud of the technological innovation we at T-Base have inspired that benefits so many Canadians,” said Ayotte.