Quillsoft Ltd. (Toronto, ON) is a software company that arose from commercialization efforts by a consortium of Ontario-based researchers of rehabilitation technologies in the 1990s. Founded in 2000 by Dr. Fraser Shein, in partnership with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Quillsoft specializes in creating and distributing reading and writing literacy tools. Stemming from its R&D roots, innovation and research-based design remain at Quillsoft’s heart incorporating a passion to help people of all ages.
Quillsoft began its journey helping children with special needs in education. Before long, teachers realized most students face some difficulty with writing and could benefit from our software. So, we transitioned to inclusive approaches helping the general student population. More recently, we began addressing the needs of post-secondary and ESL students. Most have related challenges; effective communication is a goal for all.
We have always focused on quality and innovation over quantity of features; we don’t try to do everything, but rather be the best at what we do. Quillsoft aims to lead the field with new ideas and approaches. We are well-known for WordQ and SpeakQ software that incorporate word prediction, text-to-speech, and speech-to-text technologies. These technologies, developed in the 1990s are now ubiquitous and remain a great interest in special education. However, we emphasize it is not just the underlying technologies, but it is the higher-level strategies, helping and guiding, that offer effectiveness.
Our team includes technology experts and teachers with many years of experience. We understand the importance of pedagogy and integration of technology (and its challenges) within the classroom. Following the advice by an educational consultant, pre-dating Quillsoft but on the ground floor of developing WordQ, we purposely do not try to replace teachers, nor “fix” students. Further advice, which still applies today, is to make our software as simple as possible, and then make it simpler. When software is easy to use, students actually use it and benefit. In some cases, technology is not even necessary; for example, our strategies associated with proofreading can be learned and applied anywhere.
We continue to empower students to become comfortable with writing and concentrate on the content, quality, and originality without stress. Our greatest compliment is that our software helps reduce screaming in the home; before, parents would argue with their child over doing homework; afterwards, their child is more independent and asks for help when needed without nagging.
Today, Quillsoft and its distribution partners operate in Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Although our business methods continually evolve to keep with the times, our ideology remains constant. We strive for a return on investment for our users: esteem, acceptance, confidence, achievement, belonging, worthiness, happiness, and success.