[Fwd: Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide]

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[Fwd: Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide]

Aaron Leventhal-3


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Media Contact: 

Janelle Schulenberg

Tacet Consulting

612-720-1068

[hidden email]

 

 

Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide

 

The AIR Foundation committed to ‘accessibility is a right’

 

Orlando, Florida – January 31, 2008 – The AIR Foundation, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. was announced today at a press conference held during the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) 2008 National Conference at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Florida. The mission of the foundation is to promote universal accessibility so that every blind and low-vision person in the world has access to digital information over the Internet and Worldwide Web.

            The foundation’s executive director, Art Schreiber, also announced that the organization’s first offering will be free usage of a Web 2.0 accessible screen reader. The product is provided through an exclusive license in perpetuity granted to The AIR Foundation from Serotek Corporation, the leading provider of Internet and digital information accessibility software and services. The screen reader is called SA To Go and is powered by Serotek’s award-winning System Access software which provides immediate text to speech, magnified visual, and Braille access to digital information presented through the Web or other means, while the user is directly connected to the Internet.  The software does not remain resident on the user’s computer when the connection to the Internet is interrupted or terminated. Users can obtain access to the free software by calling 877-369-0101 or visiting www.AccessibilityIsaRight.org.

“The basic tenet of The AIR Foundation is that accessibility is a fundamental human right, regardless of financial or geographic constraints” said Art Schreiber, executive director of The AIR Foundation, “by allowing the blind and visually impaired to have equal access to computer and Internet information through the free use of an advanced screen reader like SA To Go, we have already taken great strides toward our mission.”

The AIR Foundation will solicit funds and contract development of product enhancements including availability in other languages.  The organization’s first priority is to make SA To Go available in Mandarin Chinese. 

“SA To Go is highly intuitive and requires minimal training to use,” said Serotek CEO, Mike Calvo, “the user not only has access to information displayed on Web pages, but to Web-based applications such as Internet telephone service, and to applications resident on the host computer. The user can also access PDF files, fill out forms, and otherwise interact with information with the same facility as a sighted person.”

The AIR Foundation will operate through the generosity of organizations donating their time, expertise, and funds. It invites other nonprofits, assistive technology vendors, mainstream hardware and software companies and anyone interested in promoting accessibility as every person’s right, to align with the AIR team.

 

The AIR Foundation

The AIR Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advocate, teach, and deliver information accessibility tools. We focus on the accessibility needs of blind and low-vision people. Our mantra is “accessibility is a right” and we work with corporations and agencies worldwide to deliver free accessibility to all. For more information, call 877-369-0101 or visit www.AccessibilityIsaRight.org.

 

 

Serotek Corporation

Serotek Corporation is a leading technology company that develops software and manufactures accessibility solutions. Committed to the mission of providing accessibility anywhere, Serotek launched the first online community specifically designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Since then, Serotek has introduced several powerful, affordable solutions that require minimal training and investment. For more information, visit www.serotek.com.

 

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Re: [Fwd: Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide]

Victor Tsaran
I was actually very surprised to find out that the screen reader in
question would launch only for and from Internet Explorer. How does
Firefox deal with Activex controls in general? Perhaps this was the
limitation since the Dectalk synthesizer they are using is one.
Regards,
Victor

Aaron Leventhal wrote:

>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Subject:
> Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide
> From:
> Pat Pound <[hidden email]>
> Date:
> Fri, 1 Feb 2008 07:41:24 -0600
> To:
> "'[hidden email]'" <[hidden email]>
>
> To:
> "'[hidden email]'" <[hidden email]>
>
>
>  
> * *
>
> Media Contact:
>
> Janelle Schulenberg
>
> Tacet Consulting
>
> 612-720-1068
>
> [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>
>
>  
>
>  
>
> *Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide*
>
>
>     / /
>
>
>     /The AIR Foundation committed to ‘accessibility is a right’/
>
>  
>
> *Orlando**, Florida – January 31, 2008* – The AIR Foundation, a
> nonprofit organization headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. was announced
> today at a press conference held during the Assistive Technology
> Industry Association (ATIA) 2008 National Conference at the Caribe
> Royale Resort in Orlando, Florida. The mission of the foundation is to
> promote universal accessibility so that every blind and low-vision
> person in the world has access to digital information over the Internet
> and Worldwide Web.
>
>             The foundation’s executive director, Art Schreiber, also
> announced that the organization’s first offering will be free usage of a
> Web 2.0 accessible screen reader. The product is provided through an
> exclusive license in perpetuity granted to The AIR Foundation from
> Serotek Corporation, the leading provider of Internet and digital
> information accessibility software and services. The screen reader is
> called SA To Go and is powered by Serotek’s award-winning System Access
> software which provides immediate text to speech, magnified visual, and
> Braille access to digital information presented through the Web or other
> means, while the user is directly connected to the Internet.  The
> software does not remain resident on the user’s computer when the
> connection to the Internet is interrupted or terminated. Users can
> obtain access to the free software by calling 877-369-0101 or visiting
> www.AccessibilityIsaRight.org <http://www.accessibilityisaright.org/>.
>
> “The basic tenet of The AIR Foundation is that accessibility is a
> fundamental human right, regardless of financial or geographic
> constraints” said Art Schreiber, executive director of The AIR
> Foundation, “by allowing the blind and visually impaired to have equal
> access to computer and Internet information through the free use of an
> advanced screen reader like SA To Go, we have already taken great
> strides toward our mission.”
>
> The AIR Foundation will solicit funds and contract development of
> product enhancements including availability in other languages.  The
> organization’s first priority is to make SA To Go available in Mandarin
> Chinese.
>
> “SA To Go is highly intuitive and requires minimal training to use,”
> said Serotek CEO, Mike Calvo, “the user not only has access to
> information displayed on Web pages, but to Web-based applications such
> as Internet telephone service, and to applications resident on the host
> computer. The user can also access PDF files, fill out forms, and
> otherwise interact with information with the same facility as a sighted
> person.”
>
> The AIR Foundation will operate through the generosity of organizations
> donating their time, expertise, and funds. It invites other nonprofits,
> assistive technology vendors, mainstream hardware and software companies
> and anyone interested in promoting accessibility as every person’s
> right, to align with the AIR team.
>
>  
>
> *The AIR Foundation*
>
> The AIR Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to
> advocate, teach, and deliver information accessibility tools. We focus
> on the accessibility needs of blind and low-vision people. Our mantra is
> “/accessibility is a right/” and we work with corporations and agencies
> worldwide to deliver free accessibility to all. For more information,
> call 877-369-0101 or visit www.AccessibilityIsaRight.org
> <http://www.accessibilityisaright.org/>.
>
>  
>
>  
>
> *Serotek Corporation*
>
> Serotek Corporation is a leading technology company that develops
> software and manufactures accessibility solutions. Committed to the
> mission of providing /accessibility anywhere/, Serotek launched the
> first online community specifically designed to meet the needs of people
> with disabilities. Since then, Serotek has introduced several powerful,
> affordable solutions that require minimal training and investment. For
> more information, visit www.serotek.com <http://www.serotek.com/>.
>
>  
>
> ###
>
>
> --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
> Groups "techlunch" group.
> To post to this group, send email to [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> [hidden email]
> For more options, visit this group at
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Re: [Fwd: Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide]

Steve Lee-3
On 04/02/2008, Victor Tsaran <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I was actually very surprised to find out that the screen reader in
> question would launch only for and from Internet Explorer.

Hi Victor,
Yeah so I spotted, not much fun on Linux.

>How does Firefox deal with Activex controls in general?

There is a plug in but I have not tried it.
http://support.mozilla.com/kb/ActiveX

--
Steve Lee
--
Jambu - Alternative Access to Computers
www.fullmeasure.co.uk
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Re: [Fwd: Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide]

Aaron Leventhal-3
In reply to this post by Victor Tsaran
Firefox doesn't support ActiveX and there are no plans to do so.

But my bigger concern is that lack of Firefox support at all. It doesn't
support ARIA either, and I'd like to find out more about what it means
when it says it's a Web 2.0 accessible screen reader. Anyone know?

- Aaron

Victor Tsaran wrote:
> I was actually very surprised to find out that the screen reader in
> question would launch only for and from Internet Explorer. How does
> Firefox deal with Activex controls in general? Perhaps this was the
> limitation since the Dectalk synthesizer they are using is one.
> Regards,
> Victor
>
> Aaron Leventhal wrote:
>>
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Re: [Fwd: Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide]

Victor Tsaran
Hi Aaron,
I think they perform some clever polling for added/removed/appended
nodes. One of the better examples to see this in action is if you use IE
and to, say, yahoo.com. Pick "News Navigation" pannel.
As you click through the elements of the "news navigation" tab, you will
see dropdown blocks such as "World News" or "In the news" or whatever.
System2Go will announce these automatically.
In addition to that, SA2Go tries to move through the headings or certain
important highlights of the page, similar to live regions.
My feeling is that there must have gone a lot of customization work into
this but without the source code it is definitely hard to speculate.
Best,
V

Aaron Leventhal wrote:

> Firefox doesn't support ActiveX and there are no plans to do so.
>
> But my bigger concern is that lack of Firefox support at all. It doesn't
> support ARIA either, and I'd like to find out more about what it means
> when it says it's a Web 2.0 accessible screen reader. Anyone know?
>
> - Aaron
>
> Victor Tsaran wrote:
>> I was actually very surprised to find out that the screen reader in
>> question would launch only for and from Internet Explorer. How does
>> Firefox deal with Activex controls in general? Perhaps this was the
>> limitation since the Dectalk synthesizer they are using is one.
>> Regards,
>> Victor
>>
>> Aaron Leventhal wrote:
>>>
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Re: [Fwd: Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide]

Ken Saunders-2

Victor this may be of use to you.
http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Accessible_DHTML

As far as the Air Foundation, I was disappointed to find that their
services including the accessibility feature on their site are not
fully accessible to all which kind of goes against the grain of their
mission statement.

Coding your site and offering your services to have them only work
with one browser is a very poor practice and it demeans the word
accessible.
I use a browser that meets my needs and I shouldn't have to user
lesser quality and potentially dangerous software to visit sites and
use services that should be available to more than just one group.

I sincerely hope that they make some changes because I see great
potential in the organization. I will not however launch Internet
Explorer to use their site and services, that's an unfortunate thing.

Ken Saunders
www.AccessFirefox.org

On Feb 4, 6:06 pm, Victor Tsaran <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Aaron,
> I think they perform some clever polling for added/removed/appended
> nodes. One of the better examples to see this in action is if you use IE
> and to, say, yahoo.com. Pick "News Navigation" pannel.
> As you click through the elements of the "news navigation" tab, you will
> see dropdown blocks such as "World News" or "In the news" or whatever.
> System2Go will announce these automatically.
> In addition to that, SA2Go tries to move through the headings or certain
> important highlights of the page, similar to live regions.
> My feeling is that there must have gone a lot of customization work into
> this but without the source code it is definitely hard to speculate.
> Best,
> V
>
> Aaron Leventhal wrote:
> > Firefox doesn't support ActiveX and there are no plans to do so.
>
> > But my bigger concern is that lack of Firefox support at all. It doesn't
> > support ARIA either, and I'd like to find out more about what it means
> > when it says it's a Web 2.0 accessible screen reader. Anyone know?
>
> > - Aaron
>
> > Victor Tsaran wrote:
> >> I was actually very surprised to find out that the screen reader in
> >> question would launch only for and from Internet Explorer. How does
> >> Firefox deal with Activex controls in general? Perhaps this was the
> >> limitation since the Dectalk synthesizer they are using is one.
> >> Regards,
> >> Victor
>
> >> Aaron Leventhal wrote:



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Re: [Fwd: Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide]

Mario Lang
In reply to this post by Aaron Leventhal-3
Aaron Leventhal <[hidden email]> writes:

> Firefox doesn't support ActiveX and there are no plans to do so.
>
> But my bigger concern is that lack of Firefox support at all. It doesn't
> support ARIA either, and I'd like to find out more about what it means
> when it says it's a Web 2.0 accessible screen reader. Anyone know?

Buzzword compliance?

To be honest, the coupling of screen reading technology with
a browser directly sounds extremely wrong.  We've had things like
Homepage reader in the past, and we already know why this concept
is basically broken per design.  Accessibility to a computer includes
the local applications, not just the internet.  And to force
a user to not just use a specific browser, but a specific OS,
seems like marketing and whatnot, but not like the honest
attempt to provide real accessibility to users that need it.

For accessibility to really work for everyone, it
has to be integrated into the OS, without requiring users to
install/buy an additional software addon.  Linux
is heading in the right direction regarding this.  Mac has
started to do the same, although I am not really uptodate
on the Outspoken effort.  And Microsoft will not do it
since the companies trying to sell accessibility on Windows are
dependant on Microsoft not providing anything by default.

The problem we have today was created by capitalism.
It should have been obvious from the start that it is
not in the interest of user to sell assistive technologies
to users that need it at a price much higher than the software
they actual try to make accessible.  This is obvious and visible
through the scene all over the place.  Just recently I
found a product that makes a 70$ application
accessible with JAWS, which costs 800$!!!  Imagine this, its
just plain wrong.  Making an application accessible should never
cost ten times as much as the actual application itself.

--
CYa,
  ⡍⠁⠗⠊⠕
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Re: [Fwd: Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide]

Aaron Leventhal-3
In reply to this post by Aaron Leventhal-3
Mario,

I think it just uses IE to get started because it's a convenient way to
have an installer that works well from any machine. The install is an
executable that ties into the OS and makes all the apps (except Firefox)
accessible.

This product is nice thing for users even though it unfortunately does
not work with Firefox, and doesn't support ARIA.

- Aaron
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Re: [Fwd: Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide]

Tom Brunet
In reply to this post by Aaron Leventhal-3
 > what it means
> when it says it's a Web 2.0 accessible screen reader. Anyone know?

For some more background, here's a copy of a press release about SA To
Go from last year:

http://www.axistive.com/serotek-makes-web-20-accessible-to-the-blind.html

I haven't fully exercised it, but my initial impression was that they
had different definitions than I do for things like "Web 2.0" and "web
application".

My best guess of their definitions:
* Web 2.0 - Anything that is downloaded from the web and provides a rich
client experience.  It seems like they're implying that it exhibits Web
2.0 behavior by itself, and they say nothing about its ability to
interact with particular technologies like AJAX, ARIA, etc.
* Web application - Anything that is downloaded from the web and
requires no user initiated action to install and uninstall.  But, I
can't think of anything else that I'd call a web application that
downloads a python runtime and doesn't run in a browser.

On the other hand, these words don't have very good definitions.  To me,
Web 2.0 is the ability to easily contribute content to the web, and is
independent of the technologies that are used to facilitate that.
Things like AJAX, ARIA, and the like enhance the Web 2.0 experience, but
I can make a wiki with plain old HTML.

Given that, "Web 2.0 Accessible Screen Reader" will never make any sense
to me.
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Re: [Fwd: Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide]

Tom Brunet
In reply to this post by Aaron Leventhal-3
> My guess it demonstrates the capabilities of UI Automation, which is probably built into .NET web application frameworks.

I think they just require IE because ActiveX is the only way to download
and automatically run an executable from the client machine.  I haven't
looked at the latest version, but an older version looked like part of
it ran on python, which wouldn't play easily with UIA.
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Re: [Fwd: Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide]

Aaron Leventhal-3
Just to be clear, what's finally executed can still work with Firefox.

Also the way their install process works is there is recording audio
telling you what keys to press. It doesn't automatically run the .exe --
the user has to press the right keys. The same thing could be done using
Firefox with Flash to play the audio and directing the users what keys
to press.

- Aaron

Tom Brunet wrote:
>> My guess it demonstrates the capabilities of UI Automation, which is
>> probably built into .NET web application frameworks.
>
> I think they just require IE because ActiveX is the only way to download
> and automatically run an executable from the client machine. I haven't
> looked at the latest version, but an older version looked like part of
> it ran on python, which wouldn't play easily with UIA.

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Re: [Fwd: Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide]

Aaron Leventhal-3
In reply to this post by Tom Brunet
Just to be clear, what's finally executed can still work with Firefox.

Also the way their install process works is there is recording audio
telling you what keys to press. It doesn't automatically run the .exe --
the user has to press the right keys. The same thing could be done using
Firefox with Flash to play the audio and directing the users what keys
to press.

- Aaron

Tom Brunet wrote:
>> My guess it demonstrates the capabilities of UI Automation, which is
>> probably built into .NET web application frameworks.
>
> I think they just require IE because ActiveX is the only way to download
> and automatically run an executable from the client machine. I haven't
> looked at the latest version, but an older version looked like part of
> it ran on python, which wouldn't play easily with UIA.



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Re: [Fwd: Press Release: Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide]

Aaron Leventhal-3
In reply to this post by Aaron Leventhal-3
That was actually unclear. I meant, although IE is necessary to install,
the end product could still be made to work with Firefox. The second
part is not dependent on the first.

- Aaron

Aaron Leventhal wrote:

> Just to be clear, what's finally executed can still work with Firefox.
>
> Also the way their install process works is there is recording audio
> telling you what keys to press. It doesn't automatically run the .exe --
> the user has to press the right keys. The same thing could be done using
> Firefox with Flash to play the audio and directing the users what keys
> to press.
>
> - Aaron
>
> Tom Brunet wrote:
>>> My guess it demonstrates the capabilities of UI Automation, which is
>>> probably built into .NET web application frameworks.
>>
>> I think they just require IE because ActiveX is the only way to download
>> and automatically run an executable from the client machine. I haven't
>> looked at the latest version, but an older version looked like part of
>> it ran on python, which wouldn't play easily with UIA.
>

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