A T Guys bringing AT solutions to both NFB12 and ACB12 national conferences

Another summer advocacy conference and exhibit hall update for you.  Last year, I exhibited at a table near the A T Guys, and I was able to take a look at their great product lineup.  You’ve got to stop by their booth and check it out.  I am crazy about the bar code reader, and the iBill money identifier is about 1/4 the size of the one I carry.  The show sale price is incredible, so get your shopping on and hit the exhibit hall.  A T Guys will be exhibiting at both the NFB convention in Dallas at booth 9, and the ACB convention in Louisville at booth 19.

 

Here’s the scoop, sent to me by co-owner, J.J. Meddaugh:

 

Come see our new Quantum bar code scanner, the affordable and accurate way to identify millions of products. We’ve partnered with Directions for Me to bring you product directions and ingredients, Amazon.com, Bookshare, and many other resources. Scan a CD and hear the track listing. Compare prices of an item at major online stores and get the best deal, if you need to buy more. Plus, never pay for a database update. Stop by and try it out for yourself. We think you’ll be amazed.

A T Guys is also your home for iPhone and mobile accessories, including external batteries, keyboards, tactile screen protectors, cases, and more.

 

Finally, we’re running a sale on the iBill money identifier, just $79.

 

For more information about the A T Guys, their appearance at upcoming conferences, or product info, contact:

A T Guys
Your Assistive Technology Experts
(269) 216-4798

http://www.ATGuys.com

 

 

LL 

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IT’s all about adapting with Triumph Technology

Since there are several national conference events taking place one right after the other, I’ve been putting together an article series previewing some of the people and products you can expect to see.  In this case, my subject coincides with the other articles I’ve been posting on the topic of entrepreneurship.  Here, an entrepreneur who is blind is the president of a company exhibiting at both the NFB and ACB national events.

 

Earle Harrison has nearly 25 years of experience as an adaptive technology industry leader. As president and owner of Triumph Technology, LLC.–a small company based in Columbia Heights, Minnesota, he has developed an international reputation for his innovative approach to adapting off-the-shelf mainstream technologies for people with visual impairments. Harrison is also known for his work on the earliest versions of JAWS for Windows–the world’s first screen reader that could be installed independently by a blind person.

 

 

In June of 2005, Harrison launched a home based business, which he called Triumph Technology.  The new company quickly became known for bundling Code Factory’s Mobile Speak screen reading applications with various mainstream PDA’s and cell phones, and for providing top-notch technical support.

Mr. Harrison agreed to answer a few of my questions regarding his thoughts on entrepreneurship.

     

LL:  Is there a single aspect of Triumph Technology of which you are the most proud?
 
E H:  I am proud of the reputation my company has earned and sustained for over 7 years in providing quality service and support.

LL: What “conventional wisdom” about entrepreneurship are you glad you ignored?
 
E H:  Fortunately for me, most people who knew me when I told them of my plans to start my own company were very supportive. Some people did however think I was crazy for giving up a perfectly good government job for the stress and uncertainty of self employment. I must say however that often it is my own doubts and perceptions that I have needed to learn to ignore.

LL:  Are there any personal traits or characteristics that you believe have held you in good stead as an entrepreneur?
 
E H:  Above all, no matter how difficult things get, and no matter how easy it would be to do otherwise at times, my desire to always act in the best interest of the customer remains well in tact and I’m pretty proud of this ethical standard.

LL:  What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

E H:  It isn’t enough to just understand that being an entrepreneur involves a tremendous amount of risk and hard work, you have got to be absolutely driven to succeed and at the same time be able to summons the energy to pick yourself up out of the mud when you fall flat on your face. I also think it is very important that blind entrepreneurs support one another whenever possible.  Network and surround yourself with people who share the same ideals and thank God every morning when you receive the gift of a new day.

 

More about Triumph Technology:  Today, Harrison employs others who are blind or have low vision, and maintains a robust international distribution network for the product lines he represents. In addition to its thriving consumer, corporate, government, and institutional sales, Triumph Technology, LLC. offers adaptive technology training and consultation services in both Canada and the United States. The company’s slogan, "It’s All About Adapting," acknowledges the trend in the information technology industry toward universal accessibility, and emphasizes the need for assistive technology companies to evolve accordingly.
 
Go to the Triumph Technology News and Reviews blog for the most up-to-date trade show information at:

http://www.attriumph.com

 

Click on the link entitled news and reviews Blog.

 

If you are planning a visit to the exhibit halls of the upcoming NFB and ACB national conventions, stop by the Triumph Technology booth to see their latest offerings. 
 
NFB:  Booth 27-B

ACB:  Booth 31

LL

 

Speaking of entrepreneurship with Ted Henter

In my continuing series on entrepreneurship, and more specifically, entrepreneurs who are blind, I found myself in awe of some of the brilliant individuals who generously, even enthusiastically, agreed to talk with me about their career.  I’ve also been brought up short by those who have refused, choosing instead to question my motives and insult my efforts.

In this second category, responses were the generally understandable, "I have no time for this," or "Who are you?" rejections, but on occasion, I’ve also been treated to the suspicious, "Why should I participate in an interview with you?  What are you getting out of it?"

 

Well, I’ll answer that.  It’s a legitimate question.  Why do I devote so much of my blog space to promoting the efforts of others?  Probably for the same reason that I’ve spent over ten years speaking to groups about disability awareness in the context of my own vision loss.  Because it gives my own pain meaning.  So it’s not for nothing.  To let people know there are others in the world who work to make the life of a person they will never know a little bit easier.  To show appreciation for an industry fueled by the passions of innovators like my guest for today’s post:  Ted Henter.

 

If you are blind, you may use his brainchild every day, yet know nothing about the person behind the synthesized voice you know as JAWS.  You will certainly find plenty of other articles written about Mr. Henter, and many industry insiders will acknowledge that there is a certain amount of controversy regarding the operational management, strategic planning and creative vision of what is now Freedom Scientific.  However, my purpose was simply to ask a few questions as to what motivated him as an entrepreneur who is blind.

 

LL:  What personal attributes or character traits do you feel have held you in good stead as an entrepreneur?
 
TH:  Perseverance.  I’ve had many setbacks in my career, being blinded in a car accident is only one of them.  But, you must keep on keeping on. 
and a bit of faith helps too.

LL:  What “expert” advice are you glad that you ignored?
 
TH:  "There is no money in the blindness business".  This was generally considered a fact when we started Henter-Joyce.  When I tried to hire Glenn Gordon, the CTO for HJ and Freedom Scientific, he asked me if I thought we could make a living developing software for blind people.  I said I did not know, but we were going to try.
 
LL:  For someone facing tough choices due to the economic downturn, and who may be considering starting a business as a “plan B,” do you have any recommendations?
  
TH:  follow your passion.  Do what you like to do, and figure out a way to make it profitable.  This works in good times too.  I was blinded in 1978, bought my first "talking" computer in 1979.  It would just spell what was on the screen.  It was made by Deane Blazie, and it sucked.  So I gave him enough free advice ("why doesn’t it do…?"), that he hired me.  I was passionate about making the access better, and the doors opened up.

Mr. Henter goes on to suggest that sometimes the expert advice is worth following:

TH:  About 1979 I went to talk to the Deane of the Computer Science Department  at University of South Florida, Tampa.  I wanted to get a Masters in Computer Science.  I already had a BSME.  He told me he did not want any blind people in his class, he had one recently, and that person took up too much of his time, needed too much assistance.  I did not know much about advocating for my rights then, so I left, and enrolled at the same university,  but attended a campus in St. Petersburg.  I learned a bit about programming, met a guy, talked a bit, and he hired me.  That was the start of my career, and I could have spent several years working on my Masters, but went the entrepreneur route instead.  And I am glad I did it.

So are we, Mr. Henter.
 

You can read more about Ted Henter, his bio and business profile if you click here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Henter

LL

 

NFB tweetup info for national conference, 2012

The annual conference for the National Federation of the Blind is being held at the Hotel Hilton anatole in Dallas Texas this year.   To check out the agenda, go here:  . 

 

http://nfbtx.org/agenda/2012-national-convention-agenda

 

So, somewhere in between changing the world and walking the exhibit hall floor, you can do a   little “social networking” at the tweetup event.  Here’s the announcement:

 

July 1st, 2012, 8:30 – 10:00 pm—#NFB12 TWEET UP!; Grand B Ballroom, Atrium lobby.   Drop in to meet Federationists you only know from Twitter; learn how to use the power of online social media; get geared up to share your convention experience and to know others who are supporters of @NFB_Voice.  A cash bar is available.

For more general conference info, go here:

 

http://www.nfb.org/national-convention

 

LL

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NFB 2012 preview: Digit-Eyes to exhibit at national convention

Here’s something to look forward to if you’re planning to attend the 2012 National Federation of the Blind conference held this year in Dallas, Texas :.

 

Digit­‐Eyes is exhibiting at NFB this year.
This is your chance to meet the developers behind the product!

Digit-Eyes is a unique application that enables people who are visually‐impaired to identify items using their iPhone or iPad. Digit­‐Eyes reads nearly 27 million UPC and EAN codes and tells you the product name ­‐ and the full description, usage instructions and ingredients ‐ in 10 languages. Using Digit‐Eyes, inexpensive off-­the-­shelf office supplies and a standard inkjet or laser printer, you’ll be able to record audio labels or make text labels that are read aloud by your phone.

At our booth at NFB, you’ll be able to try the Digit-Eyes products that you’ve seen online, let us know what new features you’d like to see in the product and even make appointments to work with one of our master teachers to refine your Digit­‐Eyes skills.

The booth features:

·         Hands‐on experience with the iPhone and iPad.

 

o   Find how Digit-­Eyes can be used to make and play back your own labels

o   Learn how to apply the special washable labels to create talking food containers or to label clothing

o   Use the iDevices to read the manufacturer’s UPC codes to identify all sorts of items. Even find out the product ingredients, usage instructions and nutritional information.

 

·         Opportunities for educators and counselors to get free introductory packages that contain not only sample labels, but also iPhone and Digit-­Eyes information and training materials for low-­vision and non-­sighted students and clients.

 

·         The complete line of Digit-­Eyes products – all at special show pricing:

o   Pre-­printed paper labels

o   Washable Labels

o   QR-­coded Playing Cards you can read with your Android or iPhone

A limited number of spaces for free training are available on a first-­come, first-­served basis. If you’d like to reserve your session, please tweet @digit_eyes or e­‐mail support(at)digit­eyes(dot)com.

 

Look for Digit-Eyes at booth B-31 starting July 1st, 2012

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LL