Friday, May 22, 2009

SErotek Memorial Day Weekend SAle!

Now through Memorial Day, Monday May 25 at Midnight Eastern U.S., save $200 off System Access Mobile. For just $299, normally $499, you get licenses for two computers, plus a third license for a U3-enabled USB key to take to any other computer. With free lifetime upgrades, and the ability for you to switch to any two computers you choose, this will be the last money you will ever need to spend for a screen reader!

But that's not all! An annual subscription to SAMNet, normally $129, can be had this Memorial Day Weekend only, for just $99. That's $30 off all the great entertainment, information, news, movies, voice chat, social networking, third party e-mail and more, for one whole year, for just $99.

Both specials can be purchased separately, or together for even greater savings. Purchases must be made online only, and this offer will not be extended beyond Midnight EST on Monday, May 25. To create a new paid account, please visit

To log in to an existing account and purchase, please visit

The Serotek Team

Thursday, May 21, 2009

If it isn’t accessible, it has no value

The other day a friend of mine tried once again to interest me in World Ventures. He had tried once before – asking me to look at their Web site and see how it could be improved for accessibility. I did and the site had several flaws. I made contact with World Ventures/Rovia developers offering some suggestions which they apparently ignored.
This time my friend forwarded a new web site showcasing Dream Trips and a PDF presentation. The new Dream Trips site is entirely in Flash that is not accessible. The PDF was scanned images so again, I couldn't read it. Basically the company has become less accessible, rather than more accessible. And they give no sign of being interested in making their services accessible to the blind – perhaps thinking, erroneously, that blind folks don’t travel.
There really isn’t any excuse for not being accessible. ADA became law twenty years ago. The Internet accessibility rules – Section 508 – are more than a dozen years old. All of the major players – Microsoft, Google, Adobe, etc. have made their products accessible to adaptive technologies. Every major company has also worked to make its sites accessible. Sometimes we had to hound them a bit, but after a while, they got it. Accessibility is a matter of following a few simple rules. All the tools are available. There is really no incremental cost. If the World Ventures/Rovia group wants to look like a big player they need to comply with these accessibility rules like the real big players do.
But it’s really more than that. The WV business is travel and the differentiator is that everyone gets to be his or her own travel agent, with a full travel booking web site and access to all the world’s reservation systems. They offer a couple hundred “Dream Trips” which are packaged vacations with first class accommodations at bargain prices. And they are a network marketing business, allowing people to earn income by involving other people in the program. They may not believe it, but this is a program blind folks would like. We do travel – some of us pretty extensively. I probably log more than fifty thousand air miles a year on business and try to take my family on a couple of resort vacations every year. I’m by no means an exception. Since ADA made accessibility the law and adaptive technologies made the logistics easier, blind folks travel a lot.
We blind folks are also naturals for network marketing businesses. We work well from our homes and most of us have developed the kind of social networking skills it takes to succeed in this type of business. But the current non-accessible offering from World Ventures/Rovia is a non-starter. It casts the shadow of discrimination over everything the company does. And it does not bode well for the company’s long term success.
I’m sure my friend is embarrassed that he tried to get me involved with a company that scorns accessibility. To me, they are yesterday’s news. Modern, successful companies – including many travel companies – make accessibility a priority. World Ventures gets a resounding thumbs down from this corner.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Envision Selects Serotek Software for Youth Camp

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn – May 15, 2009 – Serotek Corporation, the leading provider of internet and digital information accessibility software and services, announced today that Envision®, a Kansas based agency that combines employment opportunities with rehabilitation services and public education, has selected its System Access™ software for its 4th Annual Residential Assistive Technology Camp for Kansas Youth. The camp establishes independence for teens who are blind or visually impaired, through college and career development and technology instruction. Serotek CEO, Mike Calvo, will also be featured as an opening day

instructor at the week-long camp. Calvo will be distributing netbooks with the System Access software installed and will demonstrate how to use the software for the remainder of the camp as well as throughout college and into the campers’ careers. Serotek representatives will also be on hand to speak with students interested in careers in information technology. "There are more than 70,000 school aged children in the US who are legally blind, and yet fewer than 10 percent own the assistive technology they need,Â" said Calvo, "This camp and Serotek’s software open up a whole new world of educational and career opportunities for these teens, and we couldn't be happier to support Envision’s efforts."

System Access is accessibility software with text-to-speech screen reading and magnification which can be used on any computer and gives users full access to all the social networking, podcasting, twittering fun of modern Internet use while delivering full accessibility to the most widely used business applications such as Microsoft® Office®. It can also be trained in a tiny fraction of the time it takes a new user to become familiar with a traditional screen reader.

"This assistive technology camp is essential to helping these individuals obtain employment," said Steve Stambaugh, vice president of Envision Low Vision Rehabilitation Center, "Thanks to our collaboration with Serotek, we’re able to better prepare these individuals for post-secondary education and expand their career options."

The camp supports 30 – 40 students who are selected for this program through nominations by Kansas Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI). The 2009 session will be conducted from June 1 to June 5. For more information about the camp, visit

For more information about Serotek Corporation and System Access software, visit

Serotek Corporation

Serotek Corporation is a leading technology company that develops software and manufactures accessibility solutions under the System Access brand. Committed to the mission of providing accessibility anywhere, Serotek began with the launch of the first online community specifically designed to meet the needs of people with visual impairment. Since then, Serotek has introduced several powerful, affordable solutions that require minimal training and investment. The companyÂ’s Keys for K-12 program puts blind children on par with their sighted peers as it relates to computer usage. For more information, visit


For more than 70 years, Envision has combined business with human services, creating employment opportunities and offering vision rehabilitation services to individuals who are blind, low vision or developmentally disabled. A private, not-for-profit agency founded in 1931 as the Wichita Workshop and Training School for the Adult Blind, the agency has helped countless individuals live independently. For more information, visit