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DynaVox Affiliates File For Bankruptcy

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Three affiliates of DynaVox filed for bankruptcy this week, but the entity responsible for the assistive technology products long used by people with disabilities says it is unaffected.

DynaVox Inc. as well as DynaVox Intermediate, LLC and DynaVox Systems Holdings, LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week.

The move, however, does not affect DynaVox Systems, LLC, the entity that produces education and communication products for those with special needs, officials with the company said.

“DynaVox will continue to serve its customers with the very best augmentative communication and educational products and services while focusing on accelerating the launch of several new products. The bankruptcy filings by non-operating affiliated entities will have no impact on the operations of the company,” Derek Harrar, interim CEO of DynaVox Systems, LLC said in a statement.

DynaVox Systems, LLC did not file for bankruptcy and does not plan to do so, the statement said. What’s more, the company indicated that it is run by a board of directors that is separate from the board responsible for the entities that filed for bankruptcy.

The market for assistive communication devices has shifted dramatically in recent years with the advent of the iPad and other consumer-oriented tablets. Many families have shifted away from traditional assistive technology devices that were often bulky and expensive in favor of less-costly apps that can run on popular handheld devices.

In response, DynaVox released is own tablet last fall and produces apps that run on third-party platforms.

DynaVox raised $140 million with a public stock offering in 2010 but has since struggled financially. The company’s senior debt was acquired last month by JEC Capital Partners, LLC and Fondren Management, LP and all members of the board and the company’s CEO were replaced at that time.

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