For 50 years, PRC has given children, teens, and adults with cognitive and physical challenges the opportunity to achieve their communication potential and participate as fully as possible in life.
We helped create the assistive technology industry, and our AAC solutions have paved the way for the application of technology to speech generation. As we celebrate 50 years of empowering communication, we are grateful to everyone who has helped us reach this amazing milestone.
We have always had a single mission: the success of AAC users. It is a privilege to serve the individuals who depend on us. Our employee owners are dedicated to sustaining and building a client-centered culture that always places our clients' needs first. We will lead the AAC industry into the future by combining powerful technology, proven language systems, innovative access options, and professional teaching and therapy tools. We will continue to offer solutions that enable even the most challenged communicators, because at PRC, we believe everyone deserves a voice.
As part of our 50th Anniversary Celebration we are looking for the “50 Faces of PRC.” The 50 Faces of PRC will feature 50 short video clips answering the question “Why PRC?”
These videos will encompass a diverse group of people including SLP's, device users, PRC Ambassadors, parents, teachers, vendors, and PRC employees. Each individual will be asked to create a short (1-2 min.) video or write a testimonial answering the question “Why PRC?” Depending on the individual's role, the videos may be focused on why they like working at PRC, why they recommend PRC devices, why their child is successful using a PRC device, etc.
PRC would like to feature YOU in one of our 50 videos! Everyone is welcome to participate!
For more information on how to submit a “Why PRC?” video, please email:
Be sure to check back often to see more of our featured “faces!”
Introduced in 2000
Introduced in 2003
Introduced in 2008
Introduced in 2008
Introduced in 2012
Introduced in 2013
Introduced in 2014
Introduced in 2015
It all began in the early 1960's when Barry Romich, a freshman engineering student at Case Western Reserve University, met Ed Prentke, an engineer at Highland View Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. The two men soon found they had a similar mission: to help individuals with disabilities. Prentke and Romich decided to form a partnership and, in 1966, the Prentke Romich Company was born. In 1969, the company produced its first communication device, a typing system based on a discarded Teletype machine.
In 1981, Prentke and Romich began working with Bruce Baker, the founder and president of Semantic Compaction. Baker introduced Minspeak®, a new concept for coding vocabulary in communication devices, and the first Minspeak system was introduced in 1982. The Touch Talker and LightTalker were developed in 1984 and the Liberator was introduced in 1991. All three products were retired 10 years following their introduction to the market.
In 1995, strategies for standardizing the vocabulary evolved through Mr. Baker's development of Unity®, a proprietary vocabulary program with spelling, word prediction, and single-meaning picture options. This program is now the foundation for the vocabulary in most PRC products.
In 2000, PRC introduced a new generation of augmentative and alternative communication solutions with the release of Pathfinder™, which featured a static keyboard and a color dynamic display. In 2001, PRC introduced Vantage™, a device with an enhanced operating system and portable design, making it easy to customize and support. The SpringBoard™ was launched in 2002 as the most versatile and easy to implement device, featuring the same dependable operating system as the Vantage.
Continuing our innovation in speech-generating devices, the newly redesigned Vanguard™ II was released in 2003. The Vanguard II featured synthesized and digitized speech, computer emulation, infrared environmental controls, and an integrated head-pointing system, making the device an excellent option for children new to AAC and adults with acquired disabilities.
The Pathfinder, Vanguard, Vantage and SpringBoard Plus product upgrades, announced in 2004, added integrated head-pointing and many other new features and vocabulary enhancements across the entire AAC product line.
In response to the rapid changes in technology and the increased use of communcation features such as email and texting, PRC again introduced a new generation of AAC devices with the launch of the ECO™-14. which combined advanced communication and robust personal computing in a single device. With the ECO-14, AAC users could now send and receive emails and go online to surf the internet.
Also in 2007, PRC introduced the Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) program, an approach that promotes the development of communication for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
In 2008, the company released a lighter and more portable SpringBoard, the SpringBoard™ Lite.
The ECO™2, an AAC device and Windows® XP-based computer in one, followed in 2010 and featured faster processing speed and more computing power for greater communication results. It was also the first device to offer eye-gaze compatibility, enabling users to control the device with their eyes. Essence™ PRO, Essence™ VG and Essence™ VT were also introduced in 2010 with a vocabulary designed specifically for literate adults.
In 2012, PRC moved into the app arena with the release of the LAMP Words for Life™ (WFL) app. This vocabulary program, based on Unity 84-location, was designed specifically to work with the LAMP approach. Since its introduction, the WFL app has been downloaded thousands of times and, due to its' popularity, is now being offered on Accent™ devices.
The year 2012 also brought the introduction of the Accent 1200, the first in a new family of Windows®-based products. The Accent 1200 featured a bright, sharp, 12-inch screen and a lighter frame, making it a popular choice for people with access issues.
NuEye™, a state-of-the-art eye-tracking system compatible with the Accent 1200, was also launched in 2012 and set a new standard for eye-gaze systems.
The Accent family of products continued to expand with the introduction of the Accent 1000 in 2013.
A more portable Accent device, the Accent 800, followed in 2014.
The largest of the Accent products, the Accent 1400, joined the Accent famly and featured advanced functionality with a large 14” screen, making access much easier for people using eye-gaze, head-pointing, and switches.
In addition to the Accent family of devices, PRC now offers a range of versatile vocabularies that are compatible with all Accent devices. The Unity family of vocabularies includes Unity, LAMP Words for Life, CoreScanner and Unidad Espanol. In addition, Essence, a spelling based program for literate adults, and WordPower, a word-based generative language system are also available.
At PRC, we have always realized the important role training and support services play in an individual's communication success. In response to a growing demand for online resources, the AAC Language Lab was launched in 2009. A valuable online resource, the Lab provides online training, lesson plans, and language stage development to empower clinicians, teachers and parents of AAC users to help AAC communicators develop expressive language.
In 2014, an innovative, online, data-monitoring service called Realize Language was introduced. This ground-breaking tool allows individuals using PRC devices and apps to upload information about the language being generated and provides automatic analysis of communication performance. This “real data” helps parents and professionals make informed decisions and develop strategies to improve an individual's language skills. CoreScanner™, a progressive vocabulary program for individuals who use switches or other methods to access communication technology, is also now part of the PRC family and is suited to the earliest learners.
NuPoint™, a head-tracking system which is an effective access solution for Accent product users with limited or no use of their hands, was introduced in 2015.
To again address a changing marketplace and the demand for tablet solutions, PRC added the PRiO, an iPad-based communication tool featuring the iPad Air and the popular LAMP Words for Life vocabulary.
PRC is proud to have been at the forefront of the AAC industry since 1966, and will continue to lead into the future with innovative products and services that enable every individual to communicate to their fullest potential.
At PRC, we believe everyone deserves a voice.
I can honestly say I would not have my college degree without PRC. Having PRC devices made it possible for me to talk to my professors, do my school work, and research topics I was studying. I chatted with classmates, asked questions inside and out of class, and made friends with new people.
It's so important for teachers to know that AAC is giving a child a voice. I think some teachers don't understand the potential that AAC devices can have. I had a student last year who used the eye-gaze tool to access the device and, oh my God, what a world that opened up for him.
We've been able to discover more of Kyleigh's personality, her sense of humor, her hopes, and her dreams. This has allowed us to build a world around her that is full of things that make her happy and encourage her to push herself to her limits.
My very best days are those when an AAC user calls my name and is then able to successfully communicate a message to me about something of which I have no previous knowledge or context,” she says. “The happiness and laughter that ensues with those connections is my absolute reward!
My name is Marilyn and I am the mother of Grant, who is my 23 year old nonverbal son. You ask “Why PRC?” My answer is “why not, PRC!” The reasons are numerous. Because of PRC, Grant is able to communicate his needs and wants to us and he is also able to decrease his frustrations from not being able to verbally speak. PRC has definitely made a difference in our lives.Read More..