Panther Technology is devoted to bringing together the thrilling advances in technology, design, user interface and Universal Design to create new avenues of technological access for everyone. Our mission is to unleash potential.
Panther’s apps are bringing innovation and excitement to everything from using an iPad for controlling a computer, to figuring out better keyboards for one-finger typing, to developing games that can be shared by everyone from a baby to a grand parent, Panther is bringing new ways of thinking about access to the broadest range of individuals.
But Panther is especially focused on providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Panther was started by Richard Ellenson, a well-known figure in the world of Assistive Technology. His work has helped innumerable individuals with disabilities to better reach their potential and, importantly, helped the world at large better understand disabilities, by fostering a vibrant spirit of inclusion, innovation, and aspiration across many diverse environments.
“In order to achieve one’s full potential, you need to have others be able to see it,” says Richard. “Too often individuals with disabilities are underestimated because their abilities are not apparent to others. Once people can share experience better, relationships change. That is what we focused on when we created our foundational Apps.”
Richard began his career in advertising, creating high profile work for clients like American Express, Remy Martin and HBO. His line “It’s Not TV. It’s HBO.” remains one of the industry’s most enduring.
However, in 1997 when his son was born with severe Cerebral Palsy, Richard began thinking about the issues facing individuals with his son’s challenges. In 2004, Richard founded Blink Twice. The company’s Speech Generating Device, the Tango, helped redefine how individuals without speech could communicate. For this work, Richard and his son Thomas were honored as 2006 Persons of the Year by ABC World News Tonight. This work has also been covered in diverse media, such as CBS and Fox News, “Innovators Week” on CNBC’s Squawk Box, and many newspapers and magazines.
Richard is also a tireless voice for bringing change to the way society perceives and interacts with individuals with disabilities. His efforts to include his son and children with disabilities in the New York City Public School System was a cover story in the New York Times Sunday Magazine.
Richard has served on the Boards of the Center on Disabilities at California State University at Northridge, the United States Society for Alternative and Augmentative Communication, and the Assistive Technology Industry Association. He currently serves on the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
In 2010, Richard took a sabbatical to focus on the more immediate needs of improving his son’s education within the New York City school system. He spent one day a week with his son in class, not only supporting his child, but also gaining a more detailed understanding of the systemic challenges encountered by all students and individuals with disabilities.
Panther Technology is the result of that time, and of the many great contributions of professionals, teachers, associates, friends, and, particularly in this case, family.
Panther apps were designed to offer meaningful and enjoyable access to the “Three R’s”: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic… and the one T: Technology. Our suite of Apps allows people with disabilities to take control of their own learning, by leveraging all the amazing power of the iPad, while adding a layer of predictability to how each app can work. That means more time being productive and independent. And, with that increased ability… better attitudes, better motivation, and better results.
Panther apps create all sorts of new access methods that can be shared between parents and children. From offering games that can be shared by people with different physical abilities, to providing an amazing way that a parent can finally help a child with motor challenges to do homework, Panther can become an energetic, fun, and motivating part of the parent-child relationship.
Trying to keep up with adapting materials in class is a daunting task. Panther takes a different approach. We’ve creating new methods of access – so many students with motor challenges can work with the same materials as other. With complete independence. Digital Math Paper provides a way to do math independently even if you can’t hold a pencil PantherPad provides innovative ways to access a computer from your iPad, so you can navigate sites even if they weren’t built with access. To the upcoming innovations you’ll see in PantherWriter and PantherReader. Panther allows teachers to do what they do best: teach. Because we’ve done what we do best: provide Universal Design for Learning in the truest sense, with innovative access approaches.
Can’t hold dice? Just tap on a screen and the dice roll? Want to add a therapeutic component to that? Just add a “target” to hit. Want to stop an autistic child from ‘stimming,’ just add a lock out time. Want to play a racing game that you can do? Try Moto Racer. There’s a real fun side to Panther. Try our amazing games designed for Universal Access – which means friends and families have new opportunities to play together.