Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Convention Coverage on the All New SAMNet Radio!

Serotek is proud to announce the launuch of the all new SAMNet Radio, your portal to all the great past, present and future podcasts and interviews on the newly launched SeroTalk Podcast Network. We begin with coverage from the 2011 NFB Convention in Orlando Florida. Listen now and please share this link with all your friends, family members and interested persons.
Click Here to Listen to 2011 Convention Coverage on the All New SAMNet Radio!

Thanks and Enjoy!

The Serotek Team

Friday, July 1, 2011

Serotek and SeroTalk at the NFB and ACB conventions

It's convention time again, and as always you can expect SeroTalk to bring you quality coverage from the NFB and ACB show floors. If you're attending one or both of the conventions this year, Serotek has a number of exciting things in store for you.

First, if you'd like the opportunity to meet staff members and ask questions about Serotek products and services, Mike Calvo and Joe Steinkamp will be on hand at the A T Guys booth A1 at the NFB convention. You can catch Mike and Joe on July 5 between 10 AM and 12 PM, or on July 6 from 12 PM to 1:45 PM. While you're there, don't forget to ask The A T Guys about tactile screen protectors for your iPhone, the iBill Bank Note Identifier and the affordable, customized bar code scanner which recognizes millions of items and can even interface with the popular Directions For Me web site.

When you're done in the exhibit hall, you won't want to miss the NFB in computer Science meeting from 12:30 PM to 5 PM in Wekiwa 6, Level 2. Mike Calvo and Joe Steinkamp will present "A View from The cloud: Tales of a Multiplatform world" beginning at 3:20 PM. You might also be the lucky winner of a prize package donated to the group by Serotek, which includes a copy of the System Access Mobile screen reader and three months of access to the Remote Incident Manager allowing blind IT professionals and trainers to remotely access an end user's computer. If you're attending the ACB convention, you'll also have a shot at this package as you check out the fantastic program organized by the Blind Information Technology Specialists (BITS) group. You won't want to miss Michael Lauf as he presents "accessible Cloud Computing for Consumers and IT Professionals", beginning at 2:45 PM on July 11 in So Pac E.

Are you a blind student? Both the NFB and ACB conventions have student organizations which are well worth investigating. At NFB, check out the National Association of Blind Students and at ACB, check out the National Alliance of Blind Students. Both these organizations have received a prize package from Serotek which includes a copy of the System Access Mobile screen reader and a copy of DocuScan Plus, Serotek's cloud solution for converting printed materials to text on both Windows and Mac. If you're a senior, this year's conventions have something special for you as well. At the NFB, you can get involved in the NFB Seniors Division, and at ACB, you can get involved with the Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss. In both these groups, you'll have a chance to win a prize package from Serotek including The System Access Mobile screen reader, a year of access to the SAMNet online community, and a copy of the Neospeech VoiceText speech engine.

Convention coverage will be presented by Serotalk from both the show floors, and you can always hear the latest by visiting www.serotalk.com or better yet, use the iBlink Radio app on your Android or iOS device.

When it comes to convention coverage, we don't just want to hear our own voices. We want to hear yours, too. Whether you're at NFB, ACB or Sight Village, we want to hear your reports on what's hot, what's not, and what's just plain interesting. You can send your written or prerecorded submissions to resources@serotalk.com. Don't have any fancy recording equipment? Do you wish you could just leave an on-location message for us right from your phone? You can! Check the iBlink Radio app for your Android or iOS device for details.

Whether you're taking part this year from your home or from the show floor, we wish you a safe and fun convention experience.

The Serotek Team


Another Accessibility Slap In The Face

While this is a personal post and I don’t make it a habit to get on my personal soapbox on this blog, I think that the issues covered in the email are relevant to Serotek’s mission of providing and advocating for

“Accessibility Anywhere.”

Below is a letter submitted to the IPad Today show on the Twit Netcast Network. It frustrates me that even so called “geeks” don’t understand how important accessibility is in both software and on the web. What do you think of this letter? Please post your comments so perhaps someone will read them and really know that accessibility isn’t just a law but that it really does allow us as a market to enjoy the same level of access to products and services that our sighted peers enjoy and take for granted.


Mike Calvo




Program 51 Advocates for Universal Design … for Once

Hello Leo and Sarah,

I’ve been a long-time listener of The Twit Network and iPad today, and have
always been impressed with the insightful commentary you both consistently
provide on the show. I was very excited to hear your thoughts on HTML 5 on
show which aired on June 23
. As the CEO of an assistive technology company providing accessible cloud
services to the blind, I’m a staunch advocate of HTML 5. It allows for
consistent cross-platform design, and has the added benefit of being far more
accessible than other design technologies such as Flash.

I was all set to hear a well-thought-out
and candid discussion of the benefits of HTML 5, so imagine my shock and
surprise when you began discussing the iPad experience for the new
Potter site
. You first
lamented the fact that the site displayed on the iPad was a
text-only site, which lacked all the appealing features
of the main site. Then, Sarah took things one step further and asked the
developers to: "consider the community with good vision for once!"
Really? Seriously?

Sarah, have you ever been prevented from
conducting legitimate business because of an inability to use a particular
site? Have you ever had to contact a site designer to explain that you wanted
to purchase a business’s products and services but were prevented from doing so
because of a flaw in web design? Have you ever overheard a friend or family
member discussing a particular site, only to realize you couldn’t enjoy that
site yourself, again, because of a flaw in web design? This is the struggle
that the blind community faces on a daily basis. When your entire audience of
web developers, business professionals, and blind and sighted consumers hear
you minimize this struggle with a few snide and ill-considered words, it is
incredibly damaging. With this single statement, you’ve implied that
accessibility may be a headache which some designers have to address, but only
when it doesn’t detract from the experience of the mainstream audience or in
your words "those of us with good vision." What you fail to
understand is that the members of an audience who need accessibility don’t
actually want separate but equal. We want the same bells and whistles that
everyone else enjoys. Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate the consideration when a
site designer at least acknowledges the need for accessibility by providing a
text-only site. With that said, my primary goal is to educate developers that
accessibility doesn’t have to be an afterthought, and can be incorporated quite
easily without adversely impacting anyone else. In fact, when a developer
chooses to use something like HTML 5 over something like Flash, everyone
benefits, including the sighted iPad users like yourself who want a more
compelling experience.

As well-respected tech enthusiasts,
imagine how much you could do to further the education on web accessibility
just by including information like this when you discuss platforms like HTML 5.
Conversely, consider just how damaging it can be when you make statements which
encourage actions which further your own interests while minimizing those of
another population. Would you rather advocate for the continuation of a
separate but equal philosophy, or would you rather advocate for universal design,
"for once?"


Mike Calvo CEO

Serotek Corporation

Ph: (612) 246-4818

Fax (612) 643-3483

United Kingdom +44 2080-990685

accessibility anywhere


1128 Harmon Place

Suite 310

Minneapolis, MN 55403