By Sally McKeown
At the BETT Special Needs Fringe in 2007 you could spot the grandparents. They all queued up to have their photo taken with Bob the Builder.
None of the parents bothered; they'd had the delights of Bob most of the week and were too busy enjoying time out with free wine and canapés courtesy of Inclusive Technology. Three years later, the company and Bob have smashed their target and made £60,000 for Manchester's New Children’s Hospital Appeal.Martin Littler, CEO of Inclusive Technology, was aware that all too often children with disabilities had their own “special” software with their own characters. Think of Blob in the old days of the BBCs. But it was always too expensive to get a licence to create software featuring cult figures from television.
Martin negotiated with the BBC and HIT Entertainment, a leading pre-school children’s entertainment company which owned the rights, and a fully accessible Bob the Builder came into being. SwitchIt! Bob the Builder can be operated via a mouse or mouse alternative, keyboard, IntelliKeys, touch monitor, interactive whiteboard, one or two switches and switch scanning.