[Nfbmo] Serotek declares war

James Moynihan jamesmoynihan at kc.rr.com
Thu Mar 4 02:00:21 UTC 2010


Since I am technologically challenged, what does OCR mean?  I always thought 
it meant Office for civil Rights where I used to work.

Speaking of civil rights, Section 504 would only apply to these companies if 
they are receiving Federal funds.  Section 508 is for web site access for 
governmental computer sites like Social Security, et. cet.

Getting more warmly,

Jana Moynihan

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gary Wunder" <gwunder at earthlink.net>
To: "NFB of Missouri Mailing List" <nfbmo at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 2:01 PM
Subject: Re: [Nfbmo] Serotek declares war

> Hi folks. I'm all for this transition from expensive blindness products to
> those we
> can share with the sighted and reap the benefits of lower prices. Let us
> work to see that future technology is blind friendly, and in the meantime
> ensure we still have braille displays, screen reader companies who have
> enough capital to invest in chasing the state-of-the-art, and OCR packages
> which are simple enough they can be used by people with little computer
> skill.
> My observation of the field doesn't reveal too many big software companies
> beating down our door to ask how they can become accessible though there 
> are
> several good guides to tell them what they need to do and several tools
> designed by Microsoft to assist. My world is comprised of many software
> products which, despite our best access technology, just don't talk, and
> they are not the kind of products which are likely to change because 
> sighted
> people are getting older and losing vision. They are the kind of products
> young people use and the kind we better have access to if we want to keep
> getting jobs in the world. We are proud of the legislation which has been
> passed to promote equal access, but many main-stream companies haven't a
> clue about what we need and Section 504 and 508 are numbers they've heard
> somewhere but not something they've shared with their software engineers.
> I am often dissatisfied with the responsiveness of assistive technology 
> and
> the companies which make it because the climb is always uphill, but I have
> to ask - Is this war, or evolution? As long as we benefit, maybe it 
> doesn't
> matter. As long as the struggle is as uphill as it is, I'm going to 
> welcome
> and applaud all of the main-stream companies which make their technology
> accessible, and at the same time try to support the assistive tech 
> companies
> which give me access to those which don't.
> I'm not against a war, but I want to make certain I'm throwing rocks at 
> the
> real opponent, and it just may be that my biggest opponent isn't any one
> company but apathy - apathy in recognizing we have needs, and trying to
> figure out how to make a business case for the corporations to meet them.
> For me, getting along means working for H.R. 4533, writing letters to
> companies talking about my need for access, encouraging them to pursue
> non-visual solutions, and working on procurement
> policies to see that what is purchased is as accessible as the marketplace
> can offer. We must see where the wings meet the body, and I'm not sure it 
> is
> the rich assistive technology companies. A few people have become rich 
> from
> our pocketbooks, but most of those who serve us are small to mid-size
> businesses by any reasonable standard - companies which are overwhelmed by
> the rapid changes in technology and frantically trying to decide how to
> allocate their limited resources to make the most difference.
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