HARTFORD -- Amanda Raus of FOX61 News sat down with Glen Dobbs, LoganTech President to talk about how his company uses assistive technology to communicate with those who are nonverbal.
Amanda Raus: Why did you decide to open this company and make these products?
Glen Dobbs, LoganTech president: Well, I have a son named Logan who has severe autism and he’s nonverbal, and we were looking for a device to help him communicate and we were told there wasn’t a device on the market for him because of his severe autism, severe behaviors and cognitive challenges. So, I invented the ProxTalker for him and it’s based on a picture communication system that exists for kids with autism. We added the use of electronics including RFID to make a movable picture system that actually talks.
Raus: This is the product that started it all, but there is a wide variety of products you make here.
Dobbs: We’ve actually wound up working with people who are visually impaired as a result of the ProxTalker. It was something that really surprised me. Turns out our device for kids with autism and stroke, can also be used with tactile symbols. So we have things here that have a tactile symbol for people who can’t speak and can’t see. We ended up creating something called the ProxPad and this will say “rocking chair” when you put it there.
Raus: We are here on your manufacturing floor in your facility in Waterbury, and one thing you were telling me was it was it was very important for you to have your business based here in Connecticut.
Dobbs: Well that’s right. I grew up around here, and I really like the environment and the people, and I also wanted to make sure we manufactured here in Connecticut and could control the quality. There’s a lot of small and medium sized businesses that supply parts to other businesses in the aerospace and other industries in the area, and we were able to tap into that for our products. Some companies are as close as Bethel, Connecticut. Lorenco in Bethel makes our labels here. ESI makes this circuit board in Prospect. EMS makes this one Branford, Connecticut and Newcomb Spring makes all of our little springs. This is a negative battery terminal. They’re right in Southington, Connecticut.
Raus: When you hear about your customers or the school districts that are buying these products getting to use them with the people who need them most, how does that make you feel?
Dobbs: Well, really, it’s a wonderful experience to know that my son’s challenges and the solutions we came up with are now helping thousands of other people around the world.