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28 June 2011

The current climate for running an organisation is the most difficult in living memory. Reductions in government funding for key services, uncertainty over future policy and reforms, banking crises and an increasingly rapid pace of technological advances impact on private sector businesses of all sizes and public sector organisations alike.

From a strong base developing, supplying and supporting environmental control systems for the NHS and local authorities, Possum has, in recent years, sought to expand its activities into other markets. These include augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), supported living, exports and telecare.

Now, however, after a thorough review the directors have made the very difficult decision to withdraw from the AAC market in the UK and close down PossumVoice. This decision is based on uncertainties about funding for AAC, competition from an increasing number of entrants to the market and the possible impact of the new iPad and Android technologies.

Sadly as a consequence of this, the positions of three members of the AAC staff have been retrenched. I am very sorry for the individuals concerned and I would like to thank them for their work for Possum and wish them well for the future.

I would also like to thank David Morgan for his input to PossumVoice which will finish at the end of August when his contract completes.  

As a result of these changes, Possum will not be selling the Jive! and other AAC devices in the UK. We have no field based AAC sales team and will not be attending shows, providing loans or carrying out AAC sales visits.

We sincerely apologise to clients, customers and professionals for consequences this decision may have. Please be assured that the decision was taken after very careful thought and with great reluctance.

We will however continue to provide a full technical support, repair and maintenance service for all AAC devices which Possum has supplied. A number of staff previously supporting AAC only have been retained and as well as working in other markets which Possum is developing will also be available to provide continuing support for AAC.   

Possum remains a strong business committed to supporting people with disabilities by developing innovative new products, and providing the best in service and support. In future, Possum will strengthen its commitment to the NHS environmental control area and focus its development activities on markets offering greater scope for growth where we have clear competitive advantages.

Philip Robinson - Managing Director