Here at Pneuma Solutions, we’re always on the prowl for the latest technology that could redefine the way we interact with the world. Some of this technology we adopt into our own workflow for your benefit. At other times we have to stand back in admiration at the ingenuity other teams are leveraging to make the world more inclusive. A student team at Johns Hopkins is developing a screen reader that takes a unique approach to rendering text. The prototype is called A Set of Eyes, and it seeks to provide an intelligent means of engaging with elements on environments like websites. According to one of the students, Jonathan Edwards: “The term “screen reader” is kind of a misnomer—it’s not really a piece of software that “reads” your computer screen. It actually scrapes the webpage’s underlying HTML code and reads back to you what that code is out loud. ... Our approach involves using computer vision and machine learning to detach the screen reader from the underlying code and also provide users with a flexible user interface—meaning they can practically talk with our screen reader to get information on the page.” Our very own David Calvo is spearheading the project. … [Read more...] about A Set of Eyes Helps You Engage with Your Computer Screen
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After months of development and user testing, Scribe for Meetings is ready to leave the lab and change the World forever! Pneuma Solutions, the leader in Accessible Cloud Technologies, brings you the only solution for making remote meetings and webinars accessible to the millions of visually and print impaired users World wide! Affordable and fully featured, Scribe for Meetings is the only technology that levels the playing field for remote meeting and webinar attendees with visual impairments! For the first time ever, real-time access to presentations is no longer an unattainable wish! with more platforms already under active development, we have launch the much anticipated service for Zoom meetings and webinars. Like captioning, ASL, or language translation, Scribe is a must have if you intend on serving an audience with a print impairment. Inclusion? You bet!! Higher ED, medical, government, clubs, and businesses big and small can instantly transform inaccessible meeting presentations into legally compliant accessible content for print impaired audiences. Individuals can subscribe and bring there own accessible solution to the party as well. This is not some magic bullet … [Read more...] about Scribe for Meetings Is Out Of Beta and Available World Wide!
It’s a privilege to call Deborah Kendrick a long-time friend. I have followed her coverage of the assistive technology industry for years now, and her level of well-balanced, thorough attention to detail is unwavering. If Deborah does not believe in a product or service, she will admit as much. So it was a privilege to sit down for a chat with Deborah that resulted in not one but two coveted spots in the March issue of Access World, a highly respected publication known for in-depth coverage of technology developments of interest to blind consumers. In the first Access World article, Deborah puts together a portrait of a guy I still affectionately think of as the boy genius. We learn more about the young man who evolved into the programming marvel that helped put more assistive technology into the hands of blind people. He was the engine behind all the innovation we brought about at Serotek Corp, and he is the driving force behind the revolutionary blueprints we are cooking at Pneuma Solutions. No article will ever fully capture the respect I will always have for Matt Campbell, but I am grateful there is an article that highlights a few of his accomplishments as a tech wizard, a … [Read more...] about Pneuma Solutions on Access World
Have you recently visited a website and been told to press Alt + 1 or some other key combination to invoke some version of a screen reader mode? If so, you may have been led to believe the company cared enough about its customers with disabilities to make their website accessible. The truth is actually more disturbing than we suspected. In a recent episode of Mosen At Large, Jonathan Mosen spotlighted one of these predatory companies falsely promoting itself as a revolutionary force in web accessibility. AccessiBe claims to use artificial intelligence to transform thousands of websites in the amount of time it would have taken to overhaul one. In fact, the company’s vision is to make the entire web fully accessible by 2025. On the surface, the intent sounds noble. Who wouldn’t want to support a business venture promising to make the web more inclusive? The problem is that when you look behind the marketing, companies like AccessiBe, EqualWeb, MaxAccess, and UserWay just to name a few, are capitalizing on the disparities that insist on preserving the old doctrine of separate but equal, and just like the old doctrine, public property like the web continues to be anything but … [Read more...] about The Fast Food Approach to Web Accessibility
Recently, Mike and Matt had the privilege of sitting down for an interview with Stuart Lawler of the Sight and Sound Technology Podcast. If you have not had the opportunity to listen, we welcome you to check out the episode. In it, you’ll learn about the little details that did not make it into the big announcement of Mike’s return. Outside of the innovation, Mike is known for storytelling. Some of you feeling a little nostalgic for the old SeroTalk Podcast will enjoy listening to Mike recount the winding down of Serotek and a little of the backstory surrounding the intervening years. It turns out Mike was not sitting on his laurels. Scribe had been percolating for a while, but only now do we get a better account of the chain of events that led to the line of products you see today. Matt claims to be a Jack of all trades, master of none. Yet, listening to him speak, you quickly realize the latter half of that statement is a significant understatement. Matt powered the former Serotek products across several major operating systems, and it doesn’t take long to understand just how firmly Matt drives the conversion from vision to execution. Best of all, if you have been curious … [Read more...] about Mike and Matt on Sight and Sound Technology Podcast
Eavesdrop on Mike Calvo and Matt Campbell in a rare informal chat with ACB Radio Main Menu’s host, Jeff Bishop. Find out how the newest product release, Scribe for Meetings, was developed and what it will do for you. From the ACB Radio program description: "What is Scribe for Meetings? As the world continues to move to a virtual environment, you need an affordable solution that guarantees full access to everyone in your audience. The goal is to make the on-screen content in your online meetings and webinars accessible to print-impaired participants in as easy a manner as possible. Come learn more from Mike and Matt as we get updates from their new company." For the full podcast of this ACB Main Menu program click here. … [Read more...] about Hear the story behind Scribe for Meetings on ACB Radio’s Main Menu
Effective immediately, the much talked about Scribe for Meetings is now available free for public webinars whose audience is primarily blind or visually impaired, anywhere in the World. With more popular seminars and conferences continuing to shift to a virtual stage, Pneuma Solutions wants to ensure that all blind and visually impaired people have equal access to presentations on meeting platforms internationally. How It Works If you are an agency, for profit company, or nonprofit organization serving the blindness community, visit ScribeForMeetings.com and register for this free service. Follow the easy prompts. Provide the event URL and upload a copy of your PowerPoint presentation to be shared at your event. And, that’s it! At present, this special offer is for Webinars only. If you are interested in using Scribe for your internal Zoom Meetings, please check out our very affordable pricing structure. Also, stay tuned. We are expanding to other meeting platforms like Microsoft Teams for maximum flexibility. For this free offer, you don’t have to provide a credit card number. You don’t have to commit to a contract. The goal here is to keep it free and make it as painless as … [Read more...] about Scribe for Meetings Is Free for Webinars Worldwide
Accessible information is gaining ground on the war against the PDF. In fact, presenting information only inaccessible PDFs is becoming illegal. But, will an accessible web design be too expensive? The answer will surprise you. Why are PDFs a problem for print disabled people in the first place? Governmental and corporate libraries across the globe hold billions of legacy PDF documents. These documents contain valuable information, but are inaccessible to print disabled individuals. PDFs were designed as a print-centric format with accessibility retrofitted as an afterthought, if it's there at all. The fonts, colors, and layout of a PDF document are usually unchangeable, making the document more difficult to read for people with limited vision. PDFs typically lack element information about their structure, which makes them difficult to navigate with a screen reader. This also leads to formatting characteristics that are below standard to achieve successful Braille conversion. Worse, too often PDFs are scanned from printed pages. These PDFs contain just images, either with absolutely no visible text to a screen reader, or with inaccurate text reconstructed through OCR in … [Read more...] about Accessible Information vs the PDF: Are you breaking the law?
Millions, likely billions, of documents are in a hostage situation, and accessibility, or lack thereof, is being used as ransom. Thankfully, there is an affordable solution to this accessibility standoff. In accessibility, hostage documents occur when an organization or governmental department ignores requests to make its public information accessible to those with print impairments, resulting in a legal mandate to make all public documents accessible to people with print disabilities. When that deadline expires, any digital documents that are not made accessible to print disabled people are pulled offline. They remain offline to everyone until the day they are made accessible to print disabled individuals. Those documents are held hostage in exchange for paying the price of accessibility as ransom. Are there actual cases of documents being held hostage? Yes, here’s just one example. After a 2017 audit, California was given two years to make all their documents accessible to blind and visually impaired people. According to Mike Nguyen, Caltrans chief technology officer, California spent well over six million dollars remediating just 13,000 of their 2.6 million documents. At … [Read more...] about Stop Holding Documents Hostage
As the weather turns chilly and we approach the start of a new year, it seems fitting we take advantage of the moment to announce the start of a fresh chapter. Much has happened in 2020. I hope that wherever my note finds you, you are warm, safe, and among loved ones, even if remotely. I hope my news will give you a spark of something to look forward to in the coming decade. The assistive technology landscape of today is vastly different from the environment we experienced even a decade ago. As I predicted in article after article, major companies in the Assistive Technology industry fell, merged, or tried reinventing themselves to keep pace with the demands of an evolving marketplace. Through it all, I patiently adjusted my approach to meet the inevitable change. Rather than fall victim to the evolution, I did some serious soul searching, asking myself: Was I still relevant? Was I still capable of creating change for our community? I concluded that there was more to be done and I chose to redirect my energy toward writing a new chapter in the quest to bring access to digital information in new and exciting ways. That probably sounds self-congratulatory. It’s not meant to come … [Read more...] about Winds of Change