While this is a personal post and I don’t make it a habit to get on my personal soapbox on this blog, I think that the issues covered in the email are relevant to Serotek’s mission of providing and advocating for “Accessibility Anywhere.”Below is a letter submitted to the IPad Today show on the Twit Netcast Network. It frustrates me that even so called “geeks” don’t understand how important accessibility is in both software and on the web. What do you think of this letter? Please post your comments so perhaps someone will read them and really know that accessibility isn’t just a law but that it really does allow us as a market to enjoy the same level of access to products and services that our sighted peers enjoy and take for granted. From:Mike CalvoTo:firstname.lastname@example.orgSubject:Program 51 Advocates for Universal Design … for OnceHello Leo and Sarah,I’ve been a long-time listener of The Twit Network and iPad today, and havealways been impressed with the insightful commentary you both consistentlyprovide on the show. I was very excited to hear your thoughts on HTML 5 on theshow which aired on June 23. As the CEO of an assistive technology company providing accessible cloudservices to … [Read more...] about Another Accessibility Slap In The Face
Accessibility Is A Right
A week or so ago, the American Council of the Blind held a Future of Screen Readers panel as part of the Information Access Committee seminar at the ACB annual convention. Serotek was one of the companies invited to attend remotely via Skype. Other remote participants were GW Micro and NVDA. Unfortunately technology failed (through no fault of Skype) and we remote participants did not get to contribute. But I thought the panel questions were extremely pertinent to all blind people and that it was important we add our voice to the conversation. So this blog post is Serotek’s way of making sure our voice, and the voice of many who share our view, is also heard. I’d like to begin with Question 6, because it separates us from most panel participants. I’ll come back and address each of the ten questions – which are included in their entirety at the end of this post. Question 6 said: “Imagine that you are participating on a panel five years from now. What do you hope you can tell us about the screen reader space and the role of your screen reader in it?” Serotek hopes wholeheartedly that in 2015 we can say the screen reader space has vanished. This change will be brought about through … [Read more...] about What is the Future of Screen Readers anyway?
Serotek declares war on the traditional adaptive technology industry and their blind ghetto products. With this announcement we are sending out a call to arms to every blind person and every advocate for the blind to rise up and throw off the tyranny that has shaped our lives for the past two decades. It is a tyranny of good intentions – or at least what began as good intentions. But as the proverb says, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” And for the past two decades the technologies originally conceived to give us freedom have been our shackles. They have kept us tied down to underperforming, obscenely expensive approaches that only a small percentage of blind people can afford or master. They have shackled us to government largess and the charity of strangers to pay for what few among us could afford on our own. And we have been sheep, lead down the path, bleating from time to time, but without the vision or the resources to stand up and demand our due.That time is past.We stand today on the very edge of universal accessibility. Mainstream products like the iPod, iPhone, and newly announced iPad are fully accessible out of the box. And they bring with them … [Read more...] about The Serotek Ultimatum
I don’t usually post things from the Serotalk Podcast here, but, The Serotek Story Documentary is so compelling that I figured I would post it. Of course I’m biased!If you haven’t put the Serotalk Podcast on your RSS, shame on you! LOL! Really though, it is a great resource for information on what’s happening in the World of technology according to a few blind and rather disturbed geeks! So, if you’d like a few laughs and some pretty good information head over to the Serotalk Podcast! And hey, you might not even be sorry you did!Happy New Year! … [Read more...] about The Serotek Story Documentary A Must For your Audio Archive
Knowbility blogger Desiree at Universally Designed gives us a wonderful tutorial in Webinars in her September 2nd posting along with an introduction to Serotek’s Accessible Event, which makes this phenomenally useful tool completely accessible to the blind, deaf, and deaf-blind. Desiree gives our AE team a lot of well-deserved pats on the back. That’s the way it should be because our people are out there changing the world, one demonstration at a time. Once again Serotek has blasted the barriers and brings the latest in social networking technology to everyone.I call Accessible Event a social networking tool because online meetings are really a dimension of social networking. The one-on-one stuff is great and we make that available in many different ways, but some information is best provided to a group, all at the same time. That includes corporate meetings, webinars, university classes, sermons and presentations of many kinds – really any time one person or a group of people play show and tell to a larger group in real time. Thanks to the Internet and tools like GoToMeetinghttps://www1.gotomeeting.com/?Portal=www.gotomeeting.com and WebEx virtual meetings or webinars have been … [Read more...] about Who Says? You Can’t Build It and They Will Come
People are asking that question since Serotek elected to make its AFB Access Award winning product, SAToGo, available to all, in conjunction with The AIR Foundation, for no charge.For the record, the answer is “No. We are not crazy. This makes good sense both from a humanitarian perspective and from a business perspective.”Stop and think a minute. Does Google charge for using its search engine or for looking up a location on Google Maps? Does Microsoft charge for Internet Explorer? How about Firefox? And wasn’t it Netscape that broke open the Internet with a free browser?In the long run Netscape lost the battle of the browsers but they completely changed the marketplace.I think everyone out there understands the humanitarian reasons for making SAToGo available at no charge, but let me talk about the business reasons.Before we made the free accessibility announcement the entire market for accessibility tools was a few hundred thousand people, worldwide. But there are more than 350 million blind people and a couple hundred million low vision people who would benefit from these tools. So in a very real sense the structure of the adaptive technology marketplace was such that it could … [Read more...] about Are we nuts?