In February 2005, a burned out IT professional, doing voluntary work for the local blind society, thought it would be a good idea to produce a piece of software to help blind people who were learning to use computers for the first time. He spent a couple of months developing a product which he hoped would revolutionise the world - an all-in-one Talking Word-processor with Internet browser, Typing Tutor and E-mail Reader. He decided to call this product TWITTER.
Over the next few months he tried to marketing it, with little success, at various exhibitions around the country, including Sight Village in July 2005 and learnt the hard way about different operating systems giving conflicts, run-time errors, additional drivers requiring installation and customers not knowing their POP3 from their SMTP settings, nor indeed their passwords. The perfect storm for an IT Support nightmare.
And so, project TWITTER never really took off. However, although time and money were expended the project was not a complete failure. A lot of valuable lessons were learnt and, of course, he also happened to register the domain twitter.co.uk, which he eventually sold to an American organisation a few years later for a handsome price.
Meanwhile, another idea had been born. A blind friend, expressing his frustration at not being able to use his newly acquired computer to do all the things he thought he'd be able to do with it, said, "I only bought the computer to have some fun".
So, with this in mind he set about creating some computer games, which had built-in speech and could be run off the CD, so users wouldn't need to install anything. In short, the plan was to create computer software that would not involve computer support. The name chosen for the new venture was Azabat - a tongue-in-cheek reference to the expression "blind as a bat".
Over the years the number of products has risen considerably. From our initial launch of a few games, back in 2005, we now have around 40 computer games, as well as two different Typing Tutors - one for Beginners and one for Advanced users - three collections of Talking Crosswords and a Talking Text-Editor.
In recent months we have decided to phase out supplying our products on CD and switch to Electronic Download. To this end, we have converted all our products except the games to a downloadable format. We will work through converting the games in the coming months - with so many games, there's a lot of work ahead!