DynaVox Systems LLC Merges with Blink Twice

Saturday, September 19, 2009 General News
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PITTSBURGH, July 6 DynaVox Systems LLC, the world's leading provider of communication and education solutions for individuals with speech, language and learning disabilities, today announced that the company has merged with Blink Twice. This acquisition reinforces DynaVox's commitment to providing the appropriate communication solution for each client's unique needs, and further solidifies the company's position as the market leader in the augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) industry.

Blink Twice develops and manufactures the Tango, a novel and innovative communication solution designed primarily for children and teens with significant speech and language challenges. The addition of the Tango, and its vibrant library of illustrations and symbols, to the DynaVox product lines further extends DynaVox's reach into the education and child-focused speech device markets. It also provides customers with greater selection, as well as increased pre- and post-sales support for Tango users and their care teams.

"We admire Blink Twice's innovative approach to AAC, and the way that the team has forever changed the way that speech-generating devices are viewed by the AAC community and the general public," said Ed Donnelly, DynaVox CEO. "The development of the Tango forced manufacturers to reevaluate how they approach AAC, and as a result the industry is stronger than ever and consumers have more - and better - choices available to them.

"Blink Twice made its mark on the AAC industry by providing effective, easy-to-use, and engaging communication solutions. The addition of the Tango to the DynaVox line complements our business plan, and provides DynaVox with a unique opportunity to provide greater selection to the AAC community. We are pleased to welcome Tango users and those who support them to the DynaVox family."

Richard Ellenson, Blink Twice founder and CEO, and the father of a child who uses the Tango, will join DynaVox as Chief Vision Officer. In his new role, Mr. Ellenson will take active roles in product development efforts and strategic planning to ensure DynaVox continues to put clients and clinicians first in the development of a dynamic range of products and services that further the ability and right to communicate. Mr. Ellenson will also direct advocacy initiatives and focus on raising awareness of speech disabilities and solutions within the general population.

"I started Blink Twice with a commitment to approach AAC from a new perspective; one that would forever change the way the world views assistive technology and those who rely upon it," said Ellenson. "I am extremely proud that the Blink Twice team accomplished so much in less than three years.

"Joining forces with DynaVox is a natural and great step for both companies. Together we can offer the world a vibrant new vision for AAC, as well as world-class products and customer service. I view this not only as a great partnership between the companies, but as a renewed partnership with every individual and SLP who relies on us for the products or services that support so many amazing individuals."

Additional terms of the merger include:

About DynaVox Mayer-Johnson

DynaVox Mayer-Johnson develops a range of speech communication and education solutions designed to help children and adults challenged by significant speech, language and learning disabilities make meaningful connections and participate in the home, classroom and the community. The company's DynaVox line of speech communication devices gives a voice to the millions of people who are unable to use speech as their primary means of communication due to the effects of conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease), stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's Disease, autism and mental retardation. The Mayer-Johnson line of print-based and on-screen education products engage students in the learning process and support academic achievement. Driven by a strong entrepreneurial culture, the company develops technology-based products and offers an extensive customer support program to assist individuals as well as their families and support professionals. For more information about DynaVox Mayer-Johnson, visit www.dynavoxtech.com.

-- Continued availability of the Tango - DynaVox will carry the Tango as part of the suite of DynaVox devices. -- All key Blink Twice staff will join the company. -- Increased support - Current and future Tango communicators and their care teams will be able to tap into DynaVox's extensive network of support services, including: -- assistance from the AAC industry's largest and most experienced funding team, -- expanded sales support, -- access to the industry's largest technical support team, and -- increased training opportunities through the company's Accelerated Learning program and Implementation Toolkit.

SOURCE DynaVox Mayer-Johnson


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