U-R-Able in the news

Welcome to the press release page for U-R-Able. Find out what’s being said about us in the news!


Gift of innovative technologies to CNIB marks Global Accessibility Awareness Day

TORONTO, May 9, 2013 /CNW/ – Two innovative companies have provided generous gifts to the CNIB community that will help improve accessibility for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted.

Montreal-based HumanWare, which was recently awarded CNIB’s 2013 Winston Gordon Award of Excellence in Accessible Technology for their Victor Reader Stream, is donating 25 of the award-winning devices to CNIB to distribute among children who are CNIB Library clients who could not otherwise afford the technology.

The Victor Reader Stream is a portable digital book player that enables people who are blind or partially sighted to read digital reference manuals, school books, novels, magazines, unprotected MP4files and Word documents. Lightweight, portable and equipped with wireless networking capabilities, it represents a significant advancement over previous audio book devices.

“We’re excited to provide these devices to Canadians in the CNIB community,” said Gilles Pepin, CEO, HumanWare. “It’s inspiring to see innovations like our Victor Reader Stream come to life and make a real difference in people’s everyday lives.”

This generous donation has been matched by AfterShokz, who will provide their unique open ear headphones, which transmit sound through the cheekbones via bone conduction technology, that allow users to listen without blocking their ears. For people who are blind or partially sighted, the open design of these headphones is ideal, allowing the user to remain aware of ambient sound and stay acutely in touch with their surroundings, even when wearing hearing aids

“It gives us great pleasure to be able to support HumanWare’s donation by matching their support and enhancing their gift,” said Rob Nevin, founder of U-R-Able, which represents the AfterShokz brand for persons who are blind and deaf-blind in North America.

“Digital technology has the capacity to level the playing field and open doors for people who are blind or partially sighted,” said John M. Rafferty, President and CEO, CNIB. “It is encouraging to see companies like HumanWare and AfterShokz are so committed to innovation, and to making a difference. Their generous donations are truly appreciated.”

Global Accessibility Awareness Day aims to raise the profile of digital accessibility for people living with vision loss and other disabilities. To better understand the need for digital innovations like these, Global Accessibility Awareness Day is encouraging people to use their computers differently today. They suggest turning off your screens or speakers, or unplugging your mice, and continuing your work.

About Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Now in its second year, Global Accessibility Awareness Day aims to raise the profile of digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) accessibility for people living with vision loss and other disabilities. For more information, follow @GblA11yDay on Twitter and use the #gaad hashtag, or visit their website.

About CNIB

CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. To learn more, visit cnib.ca or call the toll-free CNIB Helpline at 1-800-563-2642.


Accessible World Tek Talk Interview (August 2012) – ALT software

Accessible World Tek Talk presents U-R-ABLE, the “ALT” program.

The link to the full description of the interview can be found here:
http://accessibleworld.org/content/accessible-world-tek-talk-presents-u-r-able-%E2%80%9Calt%E2%80%9D-program

The link to access the interview is here:
http://accessibleworld.org/sites/default/files/tt-08-06-12.mp3


U-R-Able gets exclusive North American rights for ALT

ANNOUNCEMENT Dräger and Lienert, based in Marburg Germany, provides a suite of solutions for organizations employing workers with vision loss, to accelerate workers contribution, increase work efficiency and improve the quality of the workplace. Today they announce the expansion of their service globally. U-R-Able, a Canadian based company, holds the exclusive North American rights to distribute Dräger and Lienert’s suite of solutions. U-R-Able’s goal, working with organizations like CNIB, is to create environments that will support high talent workers irrespective of adjusted abilities. The solutions allow the advancement of persons working with vision loss beyond “Accessible” and “Functioning” to the otherwise difficult state of “Efficient”. Hansjörg Lienert, Principal – Dräger and Lienert. ” We are pleased to see our solutions in use in North American and improving the work experience for persons working with blindness. U-R-Able brings experience in workplace efficiency, a solid technical background and an excellent understanding of the needs of blind workers – important combinations.” Rob Nevin, Principal – U-R-Able “The solutions created by Dräger and Lienert are unique and provide a true Universal Access for computer users challenged by the limits of current accessibility tools. The improvements brought by Dräger and Lienert technologies unlocks potential, expands contribution and creates environments which allow blind workers to not only work, but to succeed and advance in their careers.” Contacts: Dräger and Lienert http://www.dlinfo.de, info@dlinfo.de;  U-R-Able http://www.u-r-able.com,  enabled@u-r-able.com


DRÄGER AND LIENERT NEWSLETTER: U-R-ABLE to present our AT (ACCELERATION TECHNOLOGIES) at the NFB convention in Dallas Texas, August 2012

With our partner in North America (U-R-Able) we have been working closely with the National Federation of the Blind. Based in Baltimore Maryland the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has a membership of over 50,000, the largest membership organization of blind people in the United States.

We were asked by the Chair of the NFB Research and Development Committee, Mr.Hai Nguyen Ly, to deliver a presentation on our work acceleration technology ALT. We received great interest from the committee leading to the forming of a research team with 8 of the committee members supported by U-R-Able and Dräger and Lienert.

We enjoyed very positive feedback and the request to deliver presentations at the NFB Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas, June 30-July 5th. ALT, and its ability to improve access to information and rapidly accelerate common and complex computer tasks, is seen as changing the workplace for blind workers.

Quotes from committee members:

“As chair of the NFB Research and Development Committee, my goal is to seek out and research innovative technologies that will allow the blind equal access to education and employment. We have found such a technology, and are nearing completion of a 3 month hands-on trail of a product called ALT. ALT accelerates information access by removing in between steps, eliminating the memorization of multiple keystrokes, allowing the user to focus on the end goal. ALT is a platform that helps deliver Universal access, without the requirement to alter the computer’s own software. This is a new and innovative solution that will help equalize access in education and employment.” – Hai Nguyen Ly

“I have spent many weeks working with the team from U-R-Able on the ALT project, and I am convinced that ALT, as a system, is a tremendous productivity tool for people who are blind–as it can be for many others as well.” Curtis Chong, President, National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science

Rob Nevin (U-R-Able) and Dennis Koster (Dräger and Lienert) will be attending the conference and presenting to the annual assembly for the following 4 groups:

  • Research and Development Committee and Science and Engineering Committee (combined session) July 2nd
  • National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals (Division of the NFB) July 2nd
  • Promotion, Evaluation and Advancement of Technology Committee July 1st.

They are available by email during and after this event and would welcome your contact at: Rob Nevin (rob@u-r-able.com) Dennis Koster (dennis@dlinfo.de) U-R-Able our partner in North America has entered a partnership agreement with Aftershokz, manufacturers of bone conduction headphones. We demonstrated these interesting headphones at the Sight City conference in May and received intense interest.

The bone-conduction headphones, first developed for military use, provide the benefits of conventional headsets while leaving both ears open and available for environmental sounds. This is important for blind, low vision and deaf/blind people for many obvious reasons.

Aftershokz open-ear headphones are available in the USA and Canada only at this time. Orders can be placed at the Aftershokz website (www.aftershokz.com http://www.aftershokz.com) or for blind callers by telephone (315) 218-0308.

Questions about our products in North America can be directed Rob Nevin (Rob@u-r-able.com ) 1-347-688-9991.


Clever Technology Supports Persons Living With Vision Loss

AfterShokz open-ear headphones offer improved street-safety and awareness of surroundings for blind persons.

Syracuse, NY — June 25, 2012 ─ AfterShokz, a unique brand of open-ear headphones powered by patent pending bone conduction technology, today announces it has entered into a partnership with U-R-Able, a North American company that provides assistive technologies for persons living with vision loss. U-R-Able has recognized AfterShokz headphones as the solution to a significant problem for all people dependent on hearing for their work, life and play.

The AfterShokz brand offers users the benefit of comfortable, healthy and safe transmission of sound. Unlike conventional headphones and earbuds that use the eardrums to transmit sound, AfterShokz headphones rest comfortably in front of the ear and utilize bone conduction technology to transmit sound through the listener’s cheekbones to the inner ear, bypassing the eardrum completely. Launched at the 2012 International CES, the brand that gained critical acclaim around the globe was recognized by U-R-Able as providing unique benefits to persons living with blindness:

“I am pleased to present AfterShokz products as they allow blind and other hearing-dependent persons to use audio devices (such as screen readers), global guidance technologies, cell phones and audio players while remaining acutely in touch with their surroundings,” said Rob Nevin, principal of U-R-Able. “Stationary or mobile, whether alone or in tandem with other audio sources, AfterShokz headphones provide immediate improvements for people living with blindness.”

AfterShokz headphones are manufactured to MIL10 Specs in an ISO 9000 certified manufacturing facility. Originally developed for use by military special ops and SWAT teams worldwide, AfterShokz bone conduction technology utilizes superior microelectronics coupled to a patent pending dual suspension system that delivers superior audio performance. AfterShokz bone conduction technology permits users to hear music or voice communications through the headphone while leaving their ears free to hear ambient sound. In addition, AfterShokz headphones are far more comfortable and stable than earbuds, especially when used over extended periods of time. Many people find earbuds to be uncomfortable to wear and they tend to fall out of the ear during vigorous activity. With AfterShokz, listeners are able to hear ambient noises such as oncoming traffic, car horns, ambulances or other warning noises, potentially preventing accidents that can be caused by headphones and earbuds blocking out these sounds.

Bruce Borenstein, the president and CEO of AfterShokz added, “We’re thrilled to be the first U.S. manufacturer to really harness bone conduction technology and build it into stylish and consumer-friendly headphones that a wide variety of users—teens, active adults, business travelers and most notably, the communities with hearing and vision loss—can benefit from.”

# # #

About AfterShokz

AfterShokz brings patent pending bone conduction technology, initially developed for military special operations and law enforcement by VoxTech in 2001, to everyday sport and mobile headphones. AfterShokz offers consumers a more comfortable, healthy and safe listening experience with two models of ear-free headphones: AfterShokz Sport and AfterShokz Mobile. Unlike conventional headphones and earbuds that use the eardrums to transmit sound, AfterShokz transmits sound through the listener’s cheekbones to the inner ear, bypassing the eardrum completely. To learn more about the company’s use of bone conduction technology and detailed features of this innovative headphone line, please visit http://www.aftershokz.com. Connect with AfterShokz on the go via their social networks by giving the brand a thumbs-up on Facebook and following on Twitter.

About U-R-Able

We inspire. U-R-Able, in everything we do we believe in challenging the status quo. We support persons living with blindness. We believe in unique approaches, as “the way it is” is the single factor limiting joy and success. The ways we challenge the status quo is to ensure that our products are purposely designed for persons with blindness, are easy to use, and rapidly accelerate access to information and completion of work. We create and provide great technologies and make them available where blind people work, live, learn and play. To learn more about U-R-Able, products and commitments globally please visit http://www.u-r-able.com.


AccessibleMedia Interview (July 2011) – ALT software

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