As you know, Serotek is not a conventional assistive technology provider. In fact, we take pride in our willingness to think outside the box and leverage products that make a distinct mark on the customers we serve, but, the price of pulling away from the pack means succumbing to all manner of speculation perpetuated by competitors and by customers who rely on bias reviews to direct their own decisions. We have never shied away from defending our approach to development, and so following in that tradition, today we address a question that comes to our attention from time to time: Is System Access a full screen reader?Well, to begin on common ground, let's first start by defining what a screen reader is. In the way of an impartial source, we can use the American Foundation of the Blind, which sets forth the following:"Screen readers are software programs that allow blind or visually impaired users to read the text that is displayed on the computer screen with a speech synthesizer. A screen reader is the interface between the computer’s operating system, its applications, and the user. The user sends commands by pressing different combinations of keys on the computer keyboard to … [Read more...] about System Access: The Alternative Commitment
For Immediate Release Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 24, 2010 Serotek Corporation, the leading provider of accessible multi platform and cloud-based solutions which can be accessed from anywhere, is proud to announce the release of DocuScan Plus. This innovative software allows persons to scan and read documents from any computer with an attached Twain-compliant scanner, sound card and internet connection. Serotek's DocuScan Plus offers high-quality optical character recognition, (OCR), to convert the printed page in to text. This self-voicing application can read both printed pages from a Twain-compliant scanner, as well as many types of PDF files, including those containing text and those containing only images. The software also supports scanners with duplex and ADF (automatic document feeder) capabilities. DocuScan Plus can convert scanned documents in to MP3 audio files for playback on many portable devices, and the software can even convert scanned materials in to the popular DAISY format. For Low Vision users, DocuScan Plus also offers a full Screen Magnifier for the reading of scanned text. This magnification option, when combined with the self voicing features of … [Read more...] about Serotek Corporation Announces the Release of DocuScan Plus
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
Thanks to everyone who purchased Serotek products between Black Friday, November 27 and Cyber Monday, November 30. We were excited to see so many people joining the Serotek community for the first time, and we were happy to see so many long-time customers purchasing SAMNet subscriptions, new text-to-speech engines, and lots more. And for one lucky person, the excitement doesn’t end with the purchase of a Serotek product. Access to digital talking books, music, and content from the System Access Mobile Network will soon be in the palm of this person’s hands. The winner, who will receive a choice between the Victor Reader Streamand the PLEXTALK Pocket, is … Audrey Farnum from Warr Acres, Oklahoma! Congratulations to Audrey, and we’ll contact you soon to determine which portable device will be delivering excellent content to you at home or on the go. If you didn’t win but would still like access to all your content in one small and affordable package, you can still purchase either of these devices without breaking the bank. Purchase the Victor Reader Stream for $329, or the Plextalk Pocket for $349. For more information about these devices or any other Serotek products, call … [Read more...] about And the Winner is
The day after Thanksgiving, now known as "Black Friday", has become an annual tradition, marking the beginning of the holiday season. Retailers slash prices on the year's must-haves, and bargain hunters stampede the doors in a mad dash to get that last great deal,.At Serotek, every day is Black Friday, except without the crowds. With low prices on assistive technology, 365 days a year; and with no SMA (software Maintenance Agreement), you’ll save at least $100 per year, for the rest of your life!From 12:01 AM Eastern Standard Time on Black Friday, November 27, through 11:59 PM on Cyber Monday November 30, 2009, you could win your choice of either aVictor Reader Stream, valued at $329or the PLEXTALK Pocket PTP1, valued at $349. To become eligible to win, simply purchase one or more Serotek products listed below.System Access Mobile Network For $129 per year or $14.95 per month.includes audio tracks of described movies, thousands of Internet radio stations,personalized news, podcasts, books, music, voice chat, blogging, your own web site, forums, email, instant messenging and remote computer access.Use with System Access or any other screen reader you prefer.System Access Screen … [Read more...] about Save With Serotek and win!!
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
It’s April 15th. Tax day tea party fanatics are holding a national protest against government spending. Of course government spending keeps us blind people going. Without SSDI and government subsidized technology and training, most of us would be a lot worse off than we are today. What may look like waste to conservatives looks like a lifeline to us.Today is also the 97th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The largest, most luxurious ship ever built sunk on its maiden voyage after hitting two icebergs late on the night of April 14th. It sank two and a half hours later, early in the morning on April 15th and more than 1500 people were lost.What do these two things have in common other than April 15th?While conservatives protest too much spending, blind people everywhere are protesting too little. As large as President Obama’s budget is, it doesn’t have much in it for us. The agencies that serve the blind population are being squeezed, and forced to operate with less funds and more demand. That means fewer blind people achieving independence.One of the reasons that fewer and fewer blind people are being served is that government agencies insist on investing in the Titanic. … [Read more...] about Deck Chairs On The Titanic
Not four score, but seven years ago we launched Serotek. I like to think that the company was conceived on liberty. In fact our first product was all about emancipation – helping blind people access the internet with little or no training, using an easy menu selection process. Even the name was liberty-based, but we’ve since stopped using that brand name. The first product was an Internet appliance. We were more than a little ahead of the market and our original prototype appliance was about the size of a microwave oven. But compared to everything else out there it was a miracle – a breakthrough in human computer interface where we made the computer do the work, rather than the human.The percentage of blind people using the Internet in those days was miniscule – just the super geeks. I’ll never forget the joy of a newly blind lady in her sixties who had never in her life used a computer when, with just her voice, she got on line using our product and made a purchase. She was so excited. Our little product had opened a door she never thought she would go through.Back in 2002 we began to build what is now the SA Mobile Network – the largest compilation of blind-friendly web … [Read more...] about Our Birthday and President’s Day? Wow!
Since its announcement in early June, eager contestants have entered and anticipated the drawing for the Serotek Summer Sizzle, a contest offering $2000 worth of products comprising a Digital Lifestyle Makeover for the lucky winner. Nearly 2000 people from some 30 countries entered the online drawing, simply by completing a survey identifying personal styles and preferences as blind computer users. As anticipated, the winner was announced on the Marlaina Show, a program of ACB Radio, Sunday evening, September 7. The lucky winner, Amy Ruell, is known to many in the blind community for her work in the areas of technology and braille literacy. In addition to her work distributing materials through the ReadBooks program for National Braille Press, Boston, and hosting webinars for parents of blind children for that agency, Ruell is also passionate about her work as president of a Boston area computer users group, VIBUG (Visually Impaired Blind Users Group.) Either directly or indirectly, her Summer Sizzle prize will benefit the VIBUG community, which is dedicated to demonstrating new products and providing information on both mainstream and adaptive technology. “I’ve been a user … [Read more...] about WINNERS OF SUMMER SIZZLE READY TO COOK