It happens from time to time to all of us who rely on a screen reader. You go to a website, and with no prompting on your part, the website starts playing some music, a video, or something else that drowns out your screen reader. How do you turn the sound down, or just make it stop, short of closing the web page altogether? You try to find your way to the stop button or the volume control, but the sound from the web page is making it hard to hear what your screen reader is telling you. Wouldn't it be nice if your computer could automatically turn down the other sound while it's talking? Your iPhone can do that, after all. So why can't your PC? Now it can, if you're running Windows 8, or better yet, Windows 10. Starting with Windows 8, your computer can lower the volume of other sounds while a screen reader is speaking. We call this audio ducking. Earlier this year, NVDA added support for this very handy feature. JAWS is adding support as well in the public beta of version 18. And today, we're happy to announce that System Access supports audio ducking as well. To start taking advantage of audio ducking with System Access, simply open your System Access preferences, go to the … [Read more...] about Why You Should Upgrade from Windows 7: Sometimes the Little Things Make All the Difference
Pneuma Solutions Blog
You might remember Brad Dunse from his contributions over on the SeroTalk blog. He’s got a knack with the words, and when we received the following email from him, we thought it worth asking for permission to reprint it here. He agreed, and so here you are, proof positive that DSP really is everything it’s cracked up to be, from the words of one satisfied customer. Here’s Brad: Even a cell pic of an old photo copy can’t fool DocuScan Plus I run two businesses, three when I’m doing my musician thing. And, I like being independent. On top of that, I volunteer for a state committee. Recently, one committee member forwarded a PDF to some of us blind folk to look at before a meeting. Here’s the exact exchange that went on. Check it out. Begin paste: “Dan, Do you have another format for the form. JAWS reads it as a 'blank document'. Brad, Did you have the same issue? Thanks Tim” Dan’s reply: “Tim, Unfortunately we were never given electronic copies as the limits were always subject to change, so this is a cell phone picture of a photo copy from several years ago.” End paste. You know what I did? I took that old slop of a cell pic. Put it through DocuScan Plus, and … [Read more...] about DocuScan Plus Will not be Fooled!
From time to time we like to bring you items of interest outside of the Serotek community. This is one such opportunity we thought you might find worth looking into: Project Starfish, a not for profit organization that provides persons with disabilities an opportunity to launch their careers, and Blindfold Games, a company founded by iOS developer Marty Schultz with a mission of providing a wide variety of audio games for the Blind and visually impaired, have come together to launch the first ever national gaming tournament for those who love audio games. Why have a national Blindfold Racer Championship? Project Starfish and Blindfold Games believe that visually impaired people who enjoy playing games deserve the same opportunity as their sighted counterparts. With this in mind, these two remarkable organizations are bringing audio gaming to the attention of the mainstream and the visually impaired community. Surprisingly, 90% of people with a visual impairment do not even know that Blindfold Games exist; and thus, do not know that they have the same opportunity to play many of the games that their sighted friends and family play each and every day. How Did This Tournament Come … [Read more...] about Blindfold Racer Championship 2016: A National Audio Gaming Tournament for The Blind and Visually Impaired
To show our appreciation for everyone’s participation in the Sero beta program, from now through Labor Day, we're offering a one-year subscription to our network service, plus a free month, for just $99. We haven't made this service available for such a low price in years, so don't miss out. Make sure you take advantage of this special offer before the end of Labor Day! Haven’t signed up yet? What are you waiting for? Get sign up now! The move to Sero means entertainment and information from the convenience of a single app across multiple platforms. It means faster updates across the board. It means voice chat and text chat at home on your computer or on the road via your smartphone. It means the ability to download content from our ever expanding library, starting a movie on your Mac or PC and finishing it up on your tablet. You’ll be able to better rate, share, and favorite the content you want and lots more! If you haven’t checked out Sero, we’ve got a lot to catch you up on! Sign up here and start experiencing entertainment and productivity at its finest! … [Read more...] about The Beta Program is Winding Down but the Savings are Ramping Up!
The following comes from our newest member in the Serotek family, Rhonda Partain. By all accounts she is exactly the primary company voice we needed on the other end of the main telephone line. We have heard great things, and here are her observations as both a staff member and user of our technology: By now I am sure most of the people who call Serotek know my voice. I’m Rhonda Partain the customer service-sort of tech person you talk to when you forget your user name or want to change your password. I had almost given up hope of finding a job. I had come to the sad realization that fairy Godmothers are only make believe. I guess halfheartedly I had hope one would appear and say some cute magical phrase that rhymes of course and I’d be blessed with a job I would love. Well, perhaps she was on strike. She never showed up. Yet it turns out persistence really does pay off in the end. I am so glad that Mike Calvo and Michael Fox thought I’d be good at this job. I am grateful they took a chance and hired this girl from Georgia who loves to talk, but who listens just as well. It is awesome to work for a company whose product is one you would purchase and use yourself. Technology is … [Read more...] about From the Staff Files: Cinderella and her Grand Adventure
Summer months are typically a great time for relaxing and unwinding. We here at Serotek recognize the value of rest and recreation, but as you know, the technology landscape is in a constant shift, requiring us to work overtime in the lab so that your favorite applications work the way they're supposed to when you're ready to come back from vacation. We have a number of short-term and long-term goals on the drawing board, some of which we'll share in upcoming posts, some of which we'll explore in a soon to be announced series of podcasts. In the meantime, we bring you the first in a series of articles exploring recent developments in mainstream technology. Earlier this week, Microsoft released the long-awaited Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Among the most prominent features in this update are several major improvements to the Edge web browser. The Edge development team recently published a blog post describing these improvements. Among other things, that post states: "we're proud to say that Microsoft Edge in the Anniversary Update is easily the most accessible browser we've ever shipped". While we at Serotek appreciate the considerable improvements that the Edge team has made … [Read more...] about Serotek’s Position on Microsoft Edge
Since we launched the beta of Sero, our "mother of all updates" on Mother's Day, we've been busy making further improvements to the product based on your extremely helpful feedback. At Serotek we’ve always been all about community, and we are heartened to note the community has not failed us in collaborating to make this a product we can all be proud of. Here are a few highlights to date and some notes on future plans: Thanks to your helpful feedback, we have improved the voice chat user experience, especially on iOS. Sero now announces when people enter or leave a chat room, and automatically reads new text chat messages. You can turn these announcements on or off on a per-computer or per-device basis. And on iOS, you no longer have to tap and hold a button to talk if you're not wearing a headset. Instead, Sero uses your iOS device's built-in echo cancellation capabilities to make sure that people don't hear themselves echo. We also added support for Bluetooth headsets on iOS. Note that we have not yet brought these enhancements to Android. Please accept our apologies for the delay, but we will change this very soon. You’ve asked for better navigation. We've made it easier to get … [Read more...] about A Pulse Check on the Sero Beta
What the heck has the Serotek team been up to? Working hard in the basement for you of course! And what has all that resulted in? Well, one of our most comprehensive updates. In fact, you might call it the mother of all updates! We’re calling it Sero. On the surface, it’s going to be a universal experience that will bring together our software services under a single app. “Sero,” after all, means “connected,” so it only made sense to develop an interface that will keep you connected across different platforms. It’s the first time in assistive technology history that users can enjoy a consistent user experience regardless of whether you’re on Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, or Apple TV. The move to a single app means a great foundation for upward mobility. We can now deploy faster updates across the board. It means voice chat and text chat at home on your computer or on the road via your smartphone. It means the ability to download content from our ever expanding library, starting a movie on your Mac or PC and finishing it up on your tablet. You’ll be able to better rate, share, and favorite the content you want and lots more! Yes, there will be some changes. For one thing, you’ll note … [Read more...] about Sero: The Mother of All Updates
In this day of automated voice response systems there is still one place where there is a real person. Serotek is bringing back the personal touch. We tried the automated system thinking it might be more efficient but we’ve come back to where we started. We think our customers deserve the kind of personal attention our customers had gotten used to. I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself. My name is Rhonda Partain. I am the voice you’ll hear if you call with customer service issues, tech support problems, or any other concerns. I live in Georgia with my husband of thirty one years and my guide dog Caesar. I believe Serotek has wonderful products and know I will enjoy learning even more about them. I am new here so may not have all the answers, but I am not afraid to ask for help and love helping others. I appreciate the kind welcome I have received. I believe the best thing we can do for each other is listen. I look forward to meeting more of you through the forums and via the phone. There are no stupid questions, only those that need answers. I look forward to doing my best to providing them. … [Read more...] about Customer Service Makes a Comeback!
You guys may’ve heard the Tek Talk broadcast the other night where Mike Calvo and Matt Campbell covered some changes at Serotek. Didn’t catch it? Click here and listen at your leisure. Or, if you’d rather read about some of our changes, here’s a breakdown: Windows 10 It's clear by now that although Windows 10 attempts to make Windows 7 users feel at ease with the return of the Start menu, the new operating system unapologetically builds on the foundation that Microsoft laid with Windows 8. The cornerstone of this foundation is an application platform and user interface style that has gone by many names. It was once called Metro. Microsoft later referred to apps based on this technology as "Windows Store apps". We have often called them "modern apps". Microsoft currently prefers the name "Universal Windows Platform". Whatever you call it, it's even more pervasive in Windows 10, from the moment you enter your password on the Windows sign-in screen. You'll also find the new style of user interface in the Action Center, where you can review and respond to notifications, and in the Settings app, which is the modern equivalent of the Control Panel. Even the Start menu, meant to entice … [Read more...] about What’s New at Serotek?