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Liberator Ltd has now reached 25 years of age!
To recognise this significant milestone we will be running promotions throughout 2016 so please visit our new website (www.liberator.co.uk) for future announcements and to make sure you don’t miss out!
We are very proud to have served the AAC World over the last 25 years, a journey that started in March 1991 when the Prentke Romich Company (Ohio, USA) created our company ‘Prentke Romich Europe’. This name was soon changed to ‘Prentke Romich International’ (PRI) as the company quickly became more internationally focussed.
We have been blessed with a great parent company, as PRC (an employee-owned business) are true pioneers in the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and have an AAC pedigree that goes back to 1966 (so they turned 50 this year!)
We have come a long way since 1991, and so have the products we provide. In the early days our main devices were products such as the TouchTalker and LightTalker.
These products were ground-breaking and helped to develop the AAC market we know today. However the technology present in today’s current Accent and Chat ranges show just how much progress has been made in a relatively short period of time.
What has remained constant throughout the last 25 years has been our mission of helping people with disabilities achieve their potential in life by providing quality language and assistive technology products and services. At the heart of our mission has been the Minspeak® language system which has provided LLL and Unity to the UK as well as various other foreign language versions. This language system has helped to ensure that many thousands of individuals have been able to live independent and inclusive lives.
As Liberator developed we embraced the opportunity to broaden our support and product range to ensure that we could provide products and solutions to meet the needs of all individuals, whatever their condition, budget or support environment.
Today, in addition to our own extensive range of language solutions, we also offer a variety of language systems from other developers to ensure the most effective assessment can be made. Our product range was increased most significantly when in 2006 we obtained an AAC catalogue business called ‘Liberator Ltd’ which we subsequently changed our name to! So 2016 is packed with milestones for the Prentke Romich Group as that particular event was 10 years ago!
Liberator supports customers in the UK and Ireland by a dedicated support team and our international customers are supported by our two subsidiary companies, Prentke Romich Gmbh (Kassel) in Germany and Liberator Pty Ltd (Adelaide) in Australia. In other markets our network of distributors provide dedicated support with the same passion and dedication as the Liberator Group.
Whilst our communication aids and language solutions have certainly made a difference for many people over the last 25 years, what has further helped to set us apart has been the service and support we have provided. From the very beginning we have provided a full-service operation that includes training, assessment support, free loans and local repairs. In the UK we also introduced the 3-year fully comprehensive ‘Total LibCare’ in 2014 which provides unrivalled warranty and support and reflects what we have always done… stand behind our products and support and help to ensure that our clients achieve the best possible outcomes.
Our commitment to supporting customers throughout their lives is core to our strategy. We know that when a customer takes ownership of their first AAC device we have a duty to ensure that they can carry on communicating successfully, it’s a life-long commitment.
The AAC industry has seen some fantastic developments in the last 25 years with the recent years probably being the period of most rapid change. The benchmark for AAC Device aesthetics and features was raised following the launch of the iPad and so devices today look better and have improved functions and features to ensure non-verbal individuals can participate in all forms of communication including social media.
AAC awareness has also increased and the recent creation of NHS funded Specialised AAC Hubs in England was a tremendous achievement by all involved and demonstrated that with hard work AAC funding and structures can be improved.
Going forward I’m sure the industry will continue to improve AAC awareness and outcomes and ensure funding levels improve to meet AAC need. At Liberator we will certainly continue with our efforts to improve AAC outcomes. In addition to a focus on product improvement we will continue to develop the training and support we provide. The Liberator AAC Awareness days have been a great success over the last few years in providing general AAC education and we will continue to host these free events. Of course we will always welcome your feedback regarding how we can improve the service and support we provide so please do not hesitate to contact me with any suggestions.
Finally Liberator would like to say thank you to everyone that has helped us reach this amazing milestone. We look forward to supporting you in the future and if the last 25 years is anything to go by… it will be a very exciting and enjoyable time!