DYNAVOX INC.

DYNAVOX INC.

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Company Overview
The company is engaged in developing software, devices and content to assist people in overcoming their speech, language or learning disabilities. It has its registered head office in the city of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, the United States.
The company’s products include The M3, a dynamic display device with concrete scenes and symbols that represent ideas and objects; DynaWrite’s computer-style keyboard and large screen display that suit individuals with strong literacy skills; V and Vmax that are the complete communication solutions for augmented communicators; and Xpress, which delivers full communication capabilities previously available only in larger devices.
The company’s solutions are designed to help individuals who have complex communication and learning needs participate in the home, classroom and community. Its line of speech generating devices gives a voice to people who are unable to speak as a result of severe cognitive and physical limitations due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities, and other conditions.
The company’s Boardmaker line of special education software is used as a publishing and editing tool to create interactive, symbol-based educational activities and materials for special education students. It is also used to adapt text-based materials to symbol-based materials for students with limited reading skills. Its proprietary Picture Communication Symbols (PCSr) are used in both its Boardmaker software line and DynaVox line of speech generating devices. The company assists individuals, families, and professionals with an extensive field support organization, as well as centralized technical and reimbursement support.
The company is publicly traded on the Nasdaq/Nms (Global Market) under the ticker symbol “DVOX”.
Business Summary
DynaVox Inc. (DynaVox) is a holding company and its sole asset is a controlling equity interest in DynaVox Systems Holdings LLC (DynaVox Holdings). The Company develops and market software, devices and content to assist people in overcoming their speech, language or learning disabilities. Its speech generating devices are used by those who are unable to speak, such as adults with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), strokes or traumatic brain injuries and children with cerebral palsy, autism or other disorders. On January 4, 2010, the Company completed the acquisition of all outstanding shares of Eye Response Technologies, Inc. (ERT). On July 6, 2009, the Company completed the acquisition of certain assets and liabilities of Blink-Twice Inc. (Blink-Twice), the developer and manufacturer of the Tango!, an augmentative communication device designed for children and teens.
Description and history
DynaVox Inc. (DynaVox), incorporated on December 16, 2009, is a holding company and its sole asset is a controlling equity interest in DynaVox Systems Holdings LLC (DynaVox Holdings). The Company develops and market software, devices and content to assist people in overcoming their speech, language or learning disabilities. Its speech generating devices are used by those who are unable to speak, such as adults with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), strokes or traumatic brain injuries and children with cerebral palsy, autism or other disorders. Its devices allow these individuals to connect with society and control their environment in a range of ways, including the ability to access the Internet, send text messages and control light switches, televisions and other features of their homes. On January 4, 2010, the Company completed the acquisition of all outstanding shares of Eye Response Technologies, Inc. (ERT). On July 6, 2009, the Company completed the acquisition of certain assets and liabilities of Blink-Twice Inc. (Blink-Twice), the developer and manufacturer of the Tango!, an augmentative communication device designed for children and teens.

The Company’s speech generating devices are powered by its software platform that utilizes adaptive and predictive language models and its symbol sets. Its portfolio of speech generating devices provides users with a range of features and designs and makes use of a range of adaptive technology that permits users with physical or cognitive limitations to access and control its devices. During the fiscal year ended July 2, 2010 (fiscal 2010), sales of its speech generating technology products represented approximately 79% of its net sales.

The Company provides software for special education teachers and students with complex communication and learning needs. Its software is used by children with cognitive challenges, such as those caused by autism, down syndrome or brain injury; physical challenges, such as those caused by cerebral palsy or other neuromuscular disorders; as well as by children with learning disabilities, such as severe dyslexia. Educators use its software as a publishing and editing tool to create interactive, symbol-based educational activities and materials for these students and to adapt text-based materials to symbol-based materials for students with limited reading skills. Its Boardmaker family of products is used for creating symbol-based activities and materials in the industry. Funding comes from federal sources, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, (ARRA), and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), but also includes funding from state and local governments, as well as private schools and parents of children with special needs. During fiscal 2010, sales of its special education software products represented approximately 21% of its net sales.

In the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, the Company sells its speech generating devices through a direct sales infrastructure focused on speech language pathologists. It uses strategic partnerships with third-party distributors to sell its products in other international markets. It sells special education software through direct mail and direct sales, as well as through the Internet. Its products serve two areas within the assistive technology industry: speech generating technology and special education software for students with special learning needs. It markets its products in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and certain other countries within the European Union.

Speech Generating Technology

The Company’s speech generating technologies are used as a proxy for verbal communication by non-verbal or substantially speech impaired adults and children. Degenerative and congenital conditions commonly found in adult and child users of speech generating technology include cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, ALS and autism. Other users of speech generating technology include adults who have experienced a stroke or traumatic brain injury, as well as adults and children with temporary speech impairments. Its speech generating devices provide a graphical user interface to convert user input in the form of pictorial symbols or text into synthesized and digitized speech. It offers a range of products for users with varying levels of cognitive and physical abilities. Users with higher levels of cognitive abilities are able to make greater use of text- levels of cognitive abilities rely more on its symbol sets. Users with lower physical abilities use input devices like its EyeMax eye-tracking system and tongue switches, whereas users with higher physical abilities can use more portable handheld systems, such as the Xpress.

The Company’s devices include a range of communication functions in addition to speech generation, including Internet access, text messaging and the ability to control light switches, televisions, and other features in a user’s home. The DynaVox V and the Vmax, or Series V, are based on its Series 5 software. The Series V product line is designed to meet a range of individual needs based on cognition and physical ability to operate the device. The Series V is its product line of speech generating devices. The EyeMax system is consisted of two parts: a Vmax and an EyeMax accessory. The EyeMax accessory allows users to control the Vmax with a simple blink or by causing the eye to dwell on a desired area of the screen. The EyeMax allows individuals to communicate who lack the physical ability to use previous generations of speech generating technology.

In August 2009, the Company introduced the Xpress. The Xpress offers the software and communication capabilities of its Series V devices in a smaller and portable package. The Company’s Tango! is a speech generating device with style and functionality designed for children and young adults. The Tango! device uses a distinct Tango! symbol set. The M3 is a digitized-only device, which means that it plays back pre-recorded messages. It is used by individuals with lower cognitive ability. The DynaWrite is a basic communication device for two-handed typists. It was created for non-verbal individuals with literacy skills who prefer keyboard-based communication solutions. Users of the DynaWrite are older individuals who have experience using keyboards.

Special Education Software

The Company’s special education software provides authoring tools for creating both communication and educational activities translating text-based curriculum into a symbol-based visual presentation for students with a range of cognitive and physical disabilities. It sells its special education software through its Mayer-Johnson subsidiary. In August 2010, it launched Boardmaker Studio, the next generation of its special education software. In addition to offering the key elements of functionality provided by Boardmaker Plus!, its software platform enhances the value to its users by providing online and desktop assets that provide integrated online support and community functions, as well as direct-to-user e-commerce communication. Boardmaker Plus! has all of the features of Boardmaker, plus a host of interactive features for educational activities on a computer. With the ability to talk and play sound recordings and movies, the additional interactive component of Boardmaker Plus! makes it easy to create talking activity boards, worksheets, schedules, books, writing activities, games, and adapt all materials to each student.

Boardmaker is the original version of the Company’s special education software platform used by special educators and speech language pathologists for creating printed symbol-based communication and education materials for students with a range of learning challenges. The software comes with more than 4,500 Picture Communication Symbols (PCS), which can be placed in templates to create schedules, communication boards, stories, matching activities and worksheets or checklists.

Customer Service and Support

The Company’s customer service representatives help its speech generating device customers to evaluate its products, to navigate the complicated third-party payor funding procedures, to learn how to use its products and integrate them into their daily lives and with ongoing technical support issues. It operates a customer support department that helps to provide technical solutions, as well as simple answers to complex programming questions. Its customer service staff can assist its customers both with initial training in the use of the device and with ongoing technical support.

Business Line
Engaged in developing software, devices and content to assist people in overcoming their speech, language or learning disabilities
Subsidiary
BLINK TWICE, INC.
Advisor
DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP
IPO date
4/27/2010
US SIC Code
7372
Company Address
Suite 400
2100, Wharton Street
City province or state postal code
15203, PITTSBURGH, PA
Phone: +1 412 381 4883
Fax: +1 412 381 5241
Country address: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Website url: www.dynavoxtech.com