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Archive - Friday, 6 April 2007
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Overseas success for college’s tool for blind
HEREFORD'S Royal National College (RNC) for the Blind is entering overseas markets for the first time in its 130-year history with help from UK Trade and Investment.
RNC, of College Road, is a specialist residential provider of teaching, training and supported employment for learners with visual impairment. It was established in 1872, and has more than 200 employees.
It is the only college in the UK specialising in teaching and training visually-im-paired people to be awarded the prestigious Beacon status by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES).
RNC has worked with a US software engineer to produce the T3, a revolutionary touch sensitive, multi-sensory de-vice that provides instant audio feedback from tactile images for a standard PC or laptop computer.
About 18 months ago, RNC joined UK Trade and Investment's passport initiative - a flagship scheme that gives new exporters the training, planning and continuing support they need to succeed overseas - to market the T3 and its services. It has recently completed the scheme.
Chris Stevenson, business development manager, said: "We have succeeded in reaching export markets for the first time, marketing revolutionary technology to educational establishments and information providers such as libraries.
"UK Trade and Investment's commercial teams at the British embassies in France, Germany, Denmark and Hol-land provided us with initial market intelligence on these countries. This was vital for us because we needed to know how the T3 would be perceived in new markets. We have since made sales in all these markets, and in Germany, we have formed a partnership with a distributor, who is working on German versions of the software. We are also exporting the T3 to Austria, Poland, Romania, Singapore and Switzerland."