Friday, 6 July 2007

Our First Birthday

15,000 Blind Computer Users Empowered - And Counting
Software that is robust, stable and very easy to use
A Royal Patron and a high profile Champion
An EU partnership to take Thunder into Europe
Lots of positive emails from blind people round the world
Friendships and partnerships growing by the day

No wonder we are celebrating’s first birthday at the Sight Village exhibition in Birmingham UK on 16 17 and 18 July. We have lots to be proud of and still a very long journey ahead of us.

Margaret and I came into all this because the talking computer so dramatically changed our own lives and empowered us to run our own business. We wanted to share this empowerment and freedom with other blind people, regardless of their ability to pay. We prefer words like empowerment and inter-dependence to support and charity., but we prefer action to words.

We have plans to create a version of Thunder for people with learning disabilities and, of course, to offer many other languages. Roger has recently attended a podcast training day and the idea is to put up straightforward training material on website to assist both blind learners and helpers.

A first birthday is also a great time to thank others. Its worth remembering that The Microsoft Corporation is the bed-rock behind all this. Thunder was invented by Sensory software Ltd who go miles beyond the call of duty on our behalf. And we can’t begin to list in any order of priority the many individuals and organisations who have generously involved with us over the year.

We are proud to be a Community Interest Company - a social enterprise. The challenge remains long-term financial sustainability while delivering free talking software to blind people round the world.

Roger is a Fellow of the School of Social Entrepreneurs based in London and much of the thinking and planning behind is SSE inspired. – a balance between high-minded and hard-headed.