We are an independent company established in 1996 by Joseph and Lynda Paton with the aim of providing IT access solutions to blind and visually impaired people.
Joseph is totally blind and Lynda is severely visually impaired. they use a range of Braille and speech output devices, to run their business and Lynda is able to make use of screen magnification. This, of course, gives them a unique perspective from which to evaluate the available access products.
Joseph's background is in providing technical support to disabled colleagues at National Westminster Bank.
From his base in Goodmans Fields he was responsible for assessment of individual needs, product evaluation, solution recommendation, implementation, training and on-going support across a wide range of hardware platforms.
Having worked for the Bank for 21 years, Joseph left in 1996 to establish his own consultancy in partnership with his wife, Lynda.
Since 1997, APART Consultancy has provided specialised telephone support for Demon Internet's blind and visually impaired customers.
Since its inception, Apart Consultancy Limited has also provided customised access solutions to
- Private Individuals;
- Aptech Ltd;
- Islington Central Reference Library;
- Enfield Library;
- Merton Library;
- The National Library for the Blind;
- Arts Council England;
- clients of government agency Jobcentre Plus;
- BT personnel;
- Training for visually impaired students of the Open University;
- St. Helens College;
- Southend Adult Community College;
Hhere, Joseph has taught visually impaired students for the past six years. Joseph has also provided training for 5 tutors at Basildon Adult Community College in the use of Jaws screen reading software. This college has introduced a programme offering courses for the visually impaired in the use of MicroSoft Word and MicroSoft Excel.
The Company were also asked to provide consultancy as expert witnesses on access technology for a firm of Manchester based solicitors.
Taken together, all this experience has required Joseph and Lynda to become familiar with the widest available range of screen reader applications. They do not make their recommendations on the basis of dealership or sales incentives.
In 1998, Apart assisted with a research project commissioned by the European community (DG 13, TIDE Programme) and were included in a Good Practice Guide published by the EC.
In 2001/2002, Joseph, wishing to expand his qualifications, studied for and achieved the 7306 teaching certificate, this is a mainstream qualification for all professional teachers in The United Kingdom. He is currently studying for further I.T. qualifications.