'Blind' software vision paying dividends

By Simon Hendery

Auckland accounting software firm Accomplish has begun tapping into a small, but potentially lucrative, niche global market: accounting software for the blind and visually impaired.

Accomplish general manager Grant Hewson said the company's interest was sparked by Dunedin entrepreneur Terry Bartlett who, like many blind people, uses specialist "screen reading technology" to navigate around his PC.

Bartlett said when he set himself up in business two years ago he downloaded Accomplish's standard accounting software trial programme and found it "worked okay on my screen".

"At that stage it was not perfect - no software ever is. But I knew I could get it to work, as I do have a good background in IT and in accessible technology."

Hewson said after meeting Bartlett doing some follow-up research he discovered CashManager was more "user-friendly" for screen reading programs than competing accounting software.

As a result the company, working with the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind, has made additional changes to further improve that readability and has had positive feedback on the product here and overseas.

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