CATAAlliance Innovation Awards: Sara Kirke Woman Entrepreneur Award Winner
May 25, 2009


T-Base CEO Honoured for Her Entrepreneurial Vision by CATAAlliance

SPROTT School of Business Carleton University Centre for Research and Education on Women and Work

(OTTAWA, ON - 25, May 2009) Sharlyn Ayotte, President and CEO of T-Base Communications, was honoured with the prestigious Sara Kirke Award for Woman Entrepreneurship at the Annual CATA Innovation and Leadership Gala.

SAyotte 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.

About CATA WIT Forum
CATA WIT is a national network that provides women in technology, bio-tech and high growth industries with knowledge and connections, allowing them to advance in their careers and businesses and grow the organizations they participate in. CATA WIT Forum does this through mentoring, networking, professional development and advocacy. Please visit for more information.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Emily Boucher
CATA Media Relations 613-222-9525