Thursday, September 3, 2009

Who Says? You Can't Build It and They Will Come

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 GoToMeeting and WebEx virtual meetings or webinars have been with us for a while now. But, as Desiree pointed out, the blind were not invited to be full participants. And neither were the deaf and deaf-blind.
Serotek changed that. We did it in a way that is very low cost and absolutely easy to use. We brought in the deaf and deaf-blind with closed caption capability and Braille interface. There is really no excuse now for any organization to offer a Webinar or even a presentation in an auditorium and not include full participation for the blind, deaf, and deaf-blind.
In case you haven’t noticed, this is what we do best. Make the world accessible with little or no hassle. We provide the accessibility tools people need to fully participate in today’s society. We make them easy to use and easy to own. We don’t wrap people up in expensive maintenance agreements or force them to own only our software in order to take advantage of the accessibility. AE, for example, works with any screen reader. And, of course, you don’t even need to purchase a screen reader for online use. System Access To Go is available free of charge to anyone.
When ADA was enacted there was always the built-in excuse that it was too costly or difficult to make certain activities accessible. Unfortunately, before we came on the scene, the Adaptive Technology Industry seemed to be doing its best to prove the ADA backsliders’ point. Serotek’s mission is to eliminate that excuse and with Accessible Event we’ve virtually eliminated it from presentations, online meetings and forums.
So speak up. If you are attending classes, webinars, going to meetings, or otherwise involved in presentations that are not fully accessible to you, it’s time to demand your rights. Any organization or individual can use AE at very little cost. The tools are available to tear down the barriers to accessibility, but only you can demand the people you deal with use those tools. Accessibility really begins with you demanding your right to it.

No comments: