Pia was founded as a typesetting co-operative by Mike Joseph on the 8th July 1985.
Mike had a thorough knowledge of the media and used this to win the contract to publish the BBC’s In Touch Handbook, which accompanied the Radio 4 programme for people with visual impairment. It wasn’t long before Pia took on the challenge to publish the handbook simultaneously in braille, large print and audio, which was a first for UK publishing.
Pia grew and became Gwasg Pia cyf, a limited company with four Directors one of whom developed the braille translation software, Braille Maker. Pia went on to sell braille software, embossers and provided technical support for those using its products as well as running a successful braille translation and production department.
Our growing reputation as a braille production company soon led to membership of the Braille Authority of the UK (BAUK), the UK Association of Braille Producers (UKABP), the Confederation of Transcribed Information Services (COTIS) and the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF). During the late nineties Pia even organised several ‘Better Braille’ conferences in an attempt to promote higher standards within the industry.
Today Pia is proud to have an excellent reputation within the industry and to be closely associated with the UK Association for Accessible Formats (UKAAF) which replaced BAUK, UKABP and COTIS and is working hard to continue to improve the quality and availability of accessible formats. We work for many large and small organisations providing a high level of service, but are especially proud to be responsible for the braille and large print versions, of national educational materials. We work hard to offer pupils throughout England and Wales the best possible opportunity for success.
Pia continues to plan for change and to invest in its future as the UK's leading accessible format transcription company.