Roland Wagner Award

on Computers Helping People with Special Needs 

Roland Wagner Award 2020

Professor Deb Fels, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada, is the recipient of the 11th Roland Wagner Award. She received the award at the ICCHP 2022 in Lecco, Italy.

In September 2001 the Austrian Computer Society OCG endowed the Roland Wagner Award on Computers Helping People with Special Needs to honour outstanding achievements of persons and/or institutions in the area ICT for people with special needs. The award is presented every other year and endowed with 3,000.- euro.

The award was named in honour of Prof. Dr. Roland Wagner, founder of ICCHP (International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs). He was the founder and head of the Austrian institute "Integrated Studying" which offers services for students with special needs at Austrian universities. He also founded the OCG working group "ICT for/with People with Special Needs" which established the ICCHP conferences as outstanding international events.

Roland Wagner was one of the pioneers and driving forces in the field ICT for people with special needs in Austria. His early visionary understanding of the role of ICT in changing perspectives of people with special needs and his dedicated fight for equal rights for that target group has had an important impact on the rising awareness in society. This award is intended to serve as an incentive and shall at the same time support the important work to which Roland Wagner had been passionately committed to.

Nomination Process

Please send the following information per email ( 
(Working language is English)

  • A letter of nomination describing the outstanding work in the field of ICT for people with special needs giving reasons why the award should be given.
  • An extended CV of the person nominated and/or description of the organisation
  • References to projects, products, publications, ...


Who/What can be nominated

  1. Individuals
  2. Organisations (associations, consortia, companies, ...)
  3. Projects
  4. Services
  5. Products


Award 0 was presented to Roland Wagner on the occasion of his 50th birthday in 2002

Award 1: WAI-W3C, 2002

Special Award 2003: A Min Tjoa, one of the founders of ICCHP on the occasion of his 50th birthday

Award 2: Paul Blenkhorn (University of Manchester, UK), 2004, for his achievements in the field of speech and sight rehabilitation engineering need for people with disabilities

Award 3: Lawrence Scadden (National Science Foundation, USA), 2006

Special Award 2006: Roland Traunmüller, on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Institute Integriert Studieren (Linz University)

Award 4: George Kerscher (DAISY Consortium, USA), 2008

Award 5: Harry Murphy (Centre on Disabilities at California State University at Northridge - CSUN, USA) and Joachim Klaus (Study Centre for Visually Impaired Students - SZS, DE)

Award 6: Gregg C. Vanderheiden for the Trace R&D Center of the University of Wisconsin - Madison

Award 7: Masakazu Suzuki, InftyProject, and Art Karshmer, University of San Francisco

Award 8: Dominique Burger, INSERM, BrailleNet, France

Special Award 2016: Wolfgang Zagler, TU Vienna, lifetime achievement award on the occasion of his retirement

Award 9: Michael Curran, NV Access, Australia

Award 10: Jan Engelen, KU Leuven, Belgium

Award 11: Deb Fels, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada