About Us

Hi, we’re Clare and Deborah – the Orkid Ideas team

SBS certificate collection
Clare and Deborah collecting their SBS winners certificate from Theo Paphitis

Just like a flower, our Orkid started life as one tiny seed – one small idea – that’s developed, grown and blossomed. An idea that’s driven our passion to help improve lives with visual supports that work for you, not that make work for you.

Our story

Tomas - the inspiration for TomTag
Tomas growing up with visual supports – and trains!

Tomas is an intelligent, funny and charming young man who loves trains, Switzerland and football. Ever since Tomas was diagnosed with autism, a language disorder and sensory difficulties at 4 years old, his mum Clare has been determined to ensure he has every opportunity to be the best he can be, in every possible way.

Visual supports played a large part in helping Tomas to cope with everyday life from a young age. Clare spent many late nights researching, printing, cutting and laminating picture cards to help develop Tomas’s understanding and communication, giving him a voice and having a positive effect on his behaviour.

One of those late nights planted that first seed; colour-coded school kit lists that Clare clipped to each of her children’s school bags. They quickly learned to start organising their own things for school and Clare’s friend Deborah loved the independence it gave her children when they tried the idea too.

Encouraged by demand for the kit lists from other parents, the friends decided the time was right to nuture that seed and develop the product they called ‘TomTag – the cool tool that helps kids pack their bag for school’. Without Tomas, the seed would never have been sown so it seemed only right to name the product after him.

TomTag really began to flourish when Clare and Deborah teamed up with Widgit symbols and began to offer kits for a much wider range of needs, unlocking TomTag’s potential to be a truly versatile visual support tool. Clare and Deborah are truly passionate about helping and supporting any child, young person or adult who could benefit from using visual supports, just as Tomas himself has done.

tomtag development collage