Martin McKay, Texthelp’s CEO, award-winning entrepreneur and innovator, is an EdTech trailblazer with lofty ambitions for the world of literacy.
Martin founded Texthelp when he was in his early twenties to help people with communication difficulties back in 1996. What started as a company focused on people with profound Speech and Dexterity Disabilities has become a world leading Assistive Technology company creating smart, inclusive software that helps people read, write, express their thoughts and share information more accurately & fluently – across all stages of life. His goal is to make sure that by 2030 Texthelp will have advanced the literacy and understanding of one billion people.
Martin has dedicated his work life to developing technology for people with disabilities. In the past, he has served on the Assistive Technology Industry Association Board as well as the NIMAS board for the USA Office of Special Education Programs. In 2017, he received the Presidential Award in recognition of lifetime contribution to dyslexia and literacy from the International Dyslexia Association. In 2021, Martin accepted the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category and today, Martin serves in an advisory capacity on the Universal Design for Learning council and was recently named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Ireland 2022.
Being an EdTech early adopter has also seen Martin present sessions at leading education conferences such as the ASU+GSV Summit, the main stage at the UDL-IRN International Summit and the CAST Symposium. His extensive experience and industry knowledge has also seen him regularly featured in articles for leading publications like EdWeek and Forbes.
It isn’t just Martin’s EdTech innovation that has made a mark on the industry, he has led significant growth and overseen a series of acquisitions that bring together the best language technologies from around the world. Including, the acquisition of Danish firm Wizkids in 2021, the Education Technology Division of Don Johnston Inc, a US-based assistive technology company in early 2022, and most recently the acquisition of Sweden based assistive technology firm, Oribi.
Martin believes that the future of education is an inclusive one and for education to be more inclusive, we need to meet the diversity demands in schools, globally. He outlines how schools can work towards this in his recent whitepaper: The Future of Education.