Serotek raises a glass in celebration of GW Micro’s latest achievement. The recently announced partnership between gW Micro and Microsoft marks the beginning of a new chapter in assistive technology history, and the team at Serotek applauds a huge step forward that can only bring positive benefits to the blind consumer. Speaking about the recent announcement, Serotek’s CEO, Michael Fox, had this to say. “There is a misconception that in an industry with very few players, there must surely be a great deal of animosity between companies. In reality, nothing is further from the truth. While I’ve only been CEO at Serotek since August of 2013, I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with representatives of numerous companies within the assistive technology industry for the past 11 years. Without a doubt, the folks at GW Micro stand out for their class, their sincerity, and their dedication to serving the needs of the blind community. Maybe it seems strange that Serotek would so enthusiastically applaud the success of a competitor, but it shouldn’t seem strange at all. Serotek was founded by a blind person, is staffed predominately by blind people, and is dedicated to creating a better … [Read more...] about A Toast to GW Micro
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
This was an important week for blind people. Apple, a company that has long ignored the need for accessibility in it’s consumer devices brought out a new 4th generation version of the Ipod Nano that, when combined with Itunes version 8,is accessible. GW Micro took Apple where no other AT company has been able to lead them. It is a wonderful success and a gift to blind people everywhere.Us blind folks are tough critics and the ink will be hardly dry on the announcement before people will be griping that the new Ipod doesn’t do one thing or another. Hush. Something more important than features happened here. Thanks to GW Micro, Apple made the digital lifestyle accessible. In doing so, Apple recognized that accessibility is not about compliance. It’s not about some minimal legal requirement to grudgingly make it possible for a blind person to have some small taste of what’s available to the general public. It’s about making fun accessible. It’s about eliminating barriers and making fun an eyes-free experience.Think about it.Ipod is the ubiquitous companion of the young and the young at heart. It is everywhere. In just a few short years this device has completely disrupted … [Read more...] about Ipod and Itunes are now accessible to the blind!
I am saddened by the passing of Clarence Whaley. He is one of the special people you meet from time to time in the adaptive technology industry whose only interest is making life a little fairer for blind people. I just saw him and Raul at CSUN. He’s one of the people who helped convince me that a guide dog would make my life a whole lot easier.Clarence was a great role model showing us that you don't have to have a chip on our shoulder to get noticed. I remember when Serotek was the new kid on the block that he and all the other folks at GW Micro made us feel like part of the adaptive technology family. This was important to me because we were new in an industry that was really skeptical of any new player.Clarence always had a kind and encouraging word even though we were competitors in the field.Clarence Whaley was always a gentleman. The industry will miss him. … [Read more...] about In Memory Of Clarence Whaley