[nfbwatlk] Opposing Freedom Scientific's signed Braille Driver Initiative
loneblindjedi at samobile.net
Wed Oct 21 03:23:13 UTC 2009
That's not underhanded. It's good business tactics. And yes, while
Mike's goal is to get you interested in his product, his other goal is
to get blind people the access they need regardless of their ability to
pay. On the bright side, SAToGo really gives you an opportunity to put
SA through its paces for as long as you like and really evaluate
whether or not SA will work for you. He also has a trial which includes
a 30 day license of SA for your computer as well as his SA Mobile
Service. When you pay for SA, you're not just paying for your own
license for the screen reader. You're paying for the ability, should
you choose, to plug in almost anywhere even if a screen reader doesn't
already exist on a machine without the need for the internet. You're
also paying for a few different speech synthesis options including
NeoSpeech and Eloquence. You're also paying for a lifetime of tech
support and upgrades without extra costs. Where Mike makes his money
isn't in the screen reader. It's in his web services. And of course,
there are many SAToGo users who don't buy the product. And frankly,
Mike doesn't seem to care.
As to standards, I haven't had any real problems with navigating my
computer and I use Word quite often with SA. As to Excel, I admit I
don't use it much. However, I do know those who do use Excel with SA.
I am reminded an aweful lot of the mac article that got published in
the Monitor. So many mac users got terribly upset since they felt the
NFB was totally downing the mac screen reader. Of course, the NFB
wasn't downing anyone, but the article does remind us that all screen
readers have their strengths and weaknesses and that while most people
prefer JFW or WindowEyes, that doesn't automatically mean that
VoiceOver sucks, especially since blind people use it productively
quite often and love it. As for me, I have used both JFW and SA for a
long time and appreciate the strengths of both. As an SA user, I
frankly have found no difficulty getting my work done on my computer,
and SA has some interesting tricks up its sleve, especially with flash content.
Mike, my goal in this e-mail isn't to negate you at all. You're right
that I wouldn't recommend SA to serious computer users who work in the
information technology field as a mainstay. However, I don't think it's
fair to openly criticise SA so harshly for all users especially since
you're not a regular user of SA and you are an information technology
user (which is quite a lot more than most of us on list when it comes
> With respect, I disagree with Jedi. I do not think System chccess to Go
> is anywhere up to the standard set by JAWS and Window Eyes. Moreover, I
> consider Mr. Calvo's marketing underhanded in putting out System Access
> to Go when he is frank to admit that he's trying to suck people into
> buying the full screen-reader System Access. I don't think it handles
> tables spreadsheets and Word esoterica nearly as well as do JAWS and WE.
> Nonetheless, it's a good option if one cannot afford anything else. But
> one gets what one pays for!
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Jedi <loneblindjedi at samobile.net>
> To: nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org
> Date: Sunday, Oct 18, 2009 21:10:05
> Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] Opposing Freedom Scientific's signed Braille
> Driver Initiative
>> I highly recommend SEROTEK's System Access. It's afordable since there
>> are many different pricing options you can choose from. It's robust for
>> the everyday needs of most screen reader users (save for the heavy
>> programers), the tech support is stellar, and you can use SA when
>> you're not at your computer via either SAToGo or the &3 option. SA also
>> has a special edition for netbooks. SEROTEK also has a number of
>> hardware, software, and web content products and services that I think
>> you'll like including the largest assembled content package available
>> to the blindness community. Best of all, SEROTEK is a company dedicated
>> to the empowerment of the blind, and its CEO is none other than Mike
>> Calvo, a fellow Federationist. His company is run and opperated by
>> blind people.
>> PS. For anyone who gets SA, let them know Jedi sent you.
>> Original message:
>>> Thanks, Curtis. I signed.
>>> Do you know of a comparable screen reader? I'm getting so tired of
>>> being nickeled and dimed with their maintenance agreements and upgrades.
>>> I hope you are well.
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Curtis Chong <Curtis.Chong at blind.state.ia.us>
>>> Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2009 4:43 PM
>>> To: david.andrews at nfbnet.org
>>> Subject: [nfbwatlk] Opposing Freedom Scientific's signed Braille Driver
>>> The Open Braille API Initiative, the National Federation of the Blind
>>> in Computer Science, and Earle Harrison, President of Handy Tech
>>> North America have created and posted an online petition which
>>> expresses sharp opposition to Freedom Scientific's recently-announced
>>> Secure and Compatible Braille driver signing policy. The petition is
>>> self explanatory. If you wish to read the petition and possibly
>>> demonstrate your support, please point your browser to:
>>> and express your view.
>>> Thank you for your attention.
>>> Yours sincerely,
>>> Curtis Chong, President
>>> National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science
>>> nfbwatlk mailing list
>>> nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org
>>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for nfbwatlk:
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