Smartbox expansion plans spearheaded by 15th birthday celebrations



Alternative communication specialists, Smartbox Assistive Technology is commemorating its 15th year in business with a series of celebrations, following a period of strong growth and exciting expansion plans for 2021 and beyond.

Having been acquired by social care provider CareTech in October 2020, the business has gone from strength-to-strength during the past twelve months. Staff numbers have increased by 20% and the company’s technology is now available in 37 countries, with major investment in the US & Ireland also planned.

Smartbox specialise in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), combining hardware, software and alternative access devices to give people without speech the ability to communicate.

Co-founder and long-term employee Dougal Hawes took the reigns as Managing Director of Smartbox in October 2020 to spearhead the business into its ambitious next phase of growth. Committed to continually developing the AAC user experience Dougal and the board will be joined next month by a new Technical Director who will lead R&D within Smartbox and bolster innovation.

A series of high level AAC industry stalwarts have also been recruited into senior Sales and Operations roles in the US to support Smartbox’ growth across state and growing customer demand. Drawing on CareTech’s global network, Smartbox is also reviewing market opportunities in the Middle East with a view to further expansion.

To celebrate the hard work of its team and partners in achieving these milestones Smartbox will be hosting a special 15th birthday celebration partner event, a summer party for staff (when restrictions allow), a series of customer lead initiatives to help raise awareness of AAC as well as running a competition to give away 15 free tickets to major UK AAC conference Communication Matters.

Dougal Hawes, managing director, Smartbox Assistive Technology said: “Obviously the past year has thrown challenges our way in the midst of a global pandemic, however I am incredibly proud of everyone involved in Smartbox and what we’ve achieved together over the past twelve months, this includes our staff, our partners and of course AAC users. Without the loyalty and valuable feedback, and insights from the people who use our AAC products we wouldn’t be where we are today.

“During the past 15 years as we’ve built the company, we’ve tried never to lose sight of why we started out in the first place – to bring a voice and independence to as many people as possible. As we scale-up and grow and expand into new markets we’ll hold this vision close and keep trying to raise awareness of AAC. There are still so many people across the globe who are not aware of AAC and the huge impact it can have on quality of life for people of all different ages and different types of conditions.”

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