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Talk To Me Technologies and Smartbox are joining forces

We are excited to share the news that Talk To Me Technologies (TTMT), one of the most trusted providers of AAC in the US, is joining the Smartbox family.

Like Smartbox, TTMT has been helping people with complex communication and access needs to live more independently since 2006.

By coming together and sharing our knowledge, ideas and expertise, we can better serve people who use assistive technology and help improve awareness of AAC around the world.

We are thrilled to be working more closely together, bringing together more than  400 people in our growing global family, between the US, UK and Germany.

Together, we will be working to co-develop the next generation of products and better solve the challenges faced by people that use them, across the world.

TTMT and Smartbox have been exploring our shared vision for the future and there is more work to do as our teams start to collaborate more, putting customers at the forefront of all our decisions.

Our teams will continue to focus on what they do best, by serving our existing customers and supporting people who use AAC. The Talk To Me Technologies team is at the end of the phone, on our existing support channels, and available by email in all the usual ways.

Customers can expect to receive the same exceptional service and continue to work with the team at TTMT to explore our range of devices and services.

Find out more and read the FAQs by clicking below.

What is this announcement about?

Smartbox has announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Talk To Me Technologies (TTMT), one of the most trusted suppliers of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in the US. The acquisition is expected to be completed later this year, subject to closing conditions. The two companies will be joining forces, combining the expertise of more than 400 assistive technology specialists around the world.

Who is Smartbox?

Smartbox creates assistive technology that helps disabled people communicate, using their flagship software, Grid 3. Their products have helped thousands of disabled people across the world to live more independently. Smartbox is a global company with headquarters in the UK, offices in the US and Germany, operating in over 40 countries, and with products available in more than 30 languages.

Starting as a family-run business in 2006, Smartbox has developed their product range to include Grid 3, Grid for iPad, Grid Pad dedicated devices, and adapted tablet solutions Talk Pad and Touch Pad, as well as developing pioneering AAC content with solutions like Super Core, Voco Chat, Look to Learn, Look to Read and many more. With TTMT joining the Smartbox family, the team will be made up of more than 400 experts across the US, UK, and Germany, making us one of the largest and most successful creators of AAC technology in the world. Our mission is to help create a world that is accessible and inclusive to everyone, because we believe communication is life and everyone has a right to it.

When will TTMT be joining the Smartbox family?

The process is currently underway, and the sale will happen in two parts. The first part has already taken place as we have signed an agreement for TTMT to be acquired by Smartbox. The second part – the completion - is planned to happen later this year when TTMT will become part of the Smartbox Group.

What will the new future look like?

TTMT will join the Smartbox family and continue to focus on providing people in the US with AAC solutions. Smartbox already has a team operating in the US (Smartbox, Inc) based out of their offices in Pennsylvania. Both companies are doing well, and we support the conditions for this to continue.

TTMT is providing most of their devices through Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance sales. Smartbox, Inc also provides funding services in addition to partnering with a network of resellers in the US. Our intention is to maintain this structure, while still working together as one team to help expand offerings across the US and support more people to access the AAC technology they need.

Will the companies retain their existing brands?

Both Smartbox and TTMT have strong brands that are well recognized and well respected. In both cases they represent quality products provided alongside quality service - delivered by AAC experts that care about the outcomes for the client.

We want to celebrate and expand on this, by honoring the TTMT brand, and endorsing it with a light touch by explaining that TTMT is part of the ‘Smartbox family’.

How will this impact the products available to clients?

Both Smartbox and TTMT have a great range of products and have everything in place to offer them to the market. So initially we will continue with the status quo. Our teams will be working together to create the best possible product range for the future and focusing on what we will be creating together.

Will this have any impact on the quality of the service and support being offered?

Both organizations are known for their exceptional levels of service, and this will always be a top priority. By working together, access to knowledge and advanced technical support is going to improve as TTMT works more closely with the Smartbox team to improve our products.

Will this have any impact on the cost of products or services?

There are no planned changes to the cost of products or services from Smartbox in the USA or from TTMT related to this.

Will who I contact from TTMT/Smartbox change?

Our clients will continue working with representatives from TTMT/ Smartbox, and the two teams will be focusing on different areas, to best serve the US community. Teams will continue to be led by the existing leadership, under a unified Executive Team.

Will my main point of contact change for either sales, support or repairs?

No, please continue to speak to the same people as you would usually at either Smartbox, Inc or TTMT.

How will this support the future development of products and the service delivered?

Our teams will be getting to know one another and benefiting from each other’s expertise by connecting regularly. This means we will be working more collaboratively in the future to help improve research and innovation, to co-develop the next generation of products to deliver the best AAC solutions in the world. Our shared commitment to exceptional customer service has brought us together and this commitment will not change. Our teams work closely to continue to deliver a trusted and reliable service to clients.

Will Smartbox devices be offered by TTMT’s Sales Consultants or funded through TTMT?

Not immediately. TTMT will continue to offer its wego A, zuvo, and eyespeak families of communication devices. Grid Pad, Talk Pad and Touch Pad will continue to be offered through Smartbox, Inc. and US partners. Smartbox and TTMT have a shared history of continued innovation. Moving forward, our teams will work together to develop and bring to market the next generation of communication devices.

Does this mean TTMT will exclusively supply Grid?

No, TTMT will continue to provide their existing selection of apps and software, and we will always put our clients’ needs first to help them succeed with AAC. TTMT will be collaborating closely with the development team behind Grid, to co-develop the best possible solution for customers in the future.

Will TTMT devices be available to purchase outside the US?

There are no current plans to provide TTMT devices outside of the US market.

Who are the other companies in the Smartbox family?

Rehavista is the leading supplier of AAC in Germany with more than 170 people on their team. They joined the Smartbox family in 2021. Rehavista’s subsidiary LogBUK, is also part of the group and provides speech therapy services across the whole of Germany.

Who owns Smartbox?

Smartbox is owned by CareTech, a UK company made up of more than 550 services providing specialist care and education for children and adults with complex needs. They employ more than 11,000 people across the group and are expanding into the Middle East. Since Smartbox joined the CareTech Group in 2020, they have worked on a major joint initiative called 100 Voices, with the intention of providing 100 people who would benefit from access to AAC with the technology and support. This has led to the training of more than 4,000 people working in specialist care and education settings, alongside a Communication Pathway across CareTech Services, with the vision of no one in a CareTech service being left without a voice.

Are there any other members of the CareTech Group?

The CareTech Group includes several organizations, mostly focused on care and education services for disabled people in the UK. One of their subsidiary companies is Purple, an organization dedicated to improving the customer experience for disabled people and educating organizations about the importance of the disabled community and what they need to do to serve them better. Purple is an important partner for Smartbox in its mission to raise awareness of AAC and improve access to technology for people who need it.