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. They buy the biggest, most bloated products, build on obsolete technology, and they continue to pay for such technology long after the initial purchase. But these products are not in tune with today’s environment. They aren’t nimble enough to avoid the icebergs, and it takes weeks or even months for users to become familiar enough with such huge and ponderous technology to even attempt to navigate the waters safely.
So we thought, why not sink the Titanic and put what money we have in state-of-the-art technology that is cheaper, easier to learn and allows government to do more for less? While state agencies and NGO vision support organizations are hanging on to their tickets aboard the Titanic amid shrinking budgets, we are offering seats on the lifeboats.
Any user who currently owns a screen reader and finds himself in the unfortunate predicament of not having the latest Software Maintenance Agreement for the product can purchase System Access Mobile for $299 ($200 off the regular price) until April 30. System Access Mobile is state-of-the-art accessibility which can be used on a home computer or from any computer simply by plugging a thumb drive in to an available USB port. It runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms, and gives users full access to all the social networking, pod casting, twittering fun of modern Internet use while delivering full accessibility to the most widely used business applications including Microsoft Office. It can be trained in a tiny fraction of the time it takes a new user to become familiar with a traditional (titanic-like) screen reader. And, while those old style behemoths continue to gobble dollars with Software Maintenance Agreements, System Access Mobile has done away with these costs for maintenance. Buy the software once and we keep it up-to-date forever at no cost to the user.
We figure realistically that a Voc-rehab can serve four newly blind individuals with System Access Mobile for every one served with a traditional screen reader. How’s that for stretching those tax dollars?
And of course, that’s not all. We offer our Voc-rehab trainers and blind field support technicians the power to train remotely with Remote incident Manager (RIM). We open up scarce technical jobs for blind IT professionals by promoting Remote Access Manager to businesses with large intranets. These products deliver accessibility at a cost that is comparable to any mainstream corporate intranet application.
Look around. While the competition is selling luxury staterooms on the Titanic for thousands, we are providing fast, safe accessibility at very affordable prices. We invite any agency to put our products against the competition in a cost-benefit analysis. And isn’t that what the agencies should be doing? Why, I bet that would even please the grumpy old misers at the Tax Day Tea Party. How could you be against doing more for less?