Calvo, Serotek President and CEO, formed Serotek in 2001 to develop
and market FreedomBox technologies and the FreedomBox Network.
Blind since birth, Mike Calvo has dedicated his life to creating
solutions that level the playing field for people with disabilities.
His design philosophy is modeled after the curb cut, the ramped
access that makes it possible for people who use wheelchairs or
walkers to easily move from one sidewalk to the next. Designed
for the disabled, they have made life simpler and more convenient
for all. Mike Calvo believes that every information highway on
ramp and off ramp needs to be designed with an electronic curb
cut, adapting the technology to human needs rather than forcing
humans to adapt to limitations in the technology.
was the first electronic curb cut introduced by Serotek. Its
Flexible User Interface (FUI) allows users to access the Internet,
use e-mail, read newspapers, books, and enjoy described video,
shop, search for jobs and much more, using their voice, a touch
screen, a keyboard or key pad, a mouse, or an infrared sound touch
(IST) switch. Content is accessible audibly using text to speech
technology or on the screen, enlarged to meet the user's visual
needs. Consistent with his curb cut approach, every Serotek
product is designed to be intuitive, allowing users to become
fully operational with very little training. This is in sharp
contrast with most adaptive technologies which require extensive
user training. People who have never before used a computer can
use FreedomBox and the FreedomBox Network. There is a wonderful
irony that for many elderly FreedomBox Network members, their
first successful experience with computers occurred only after
they lost their sight.
its launch in 2001, Serotek has continued to build the FreedomBox
Network, a unique Internet membership community that not only
delivers the most content ever assembled in one place specifically
for the blind community and people with other disabilities; but
also provides an interactive forum that helps this community's
voice to be heard. Where in the past the disability community
was often dismissed as too dispersed and too difficult to reach
to be of interest as a market; FreedomBox Network both gives the
community access and makes the community highly accessible.
has also continued to expand its family of electronic curb cut
products adding such products as: System Access, all the screen-reader
many users will ever need; Key to Freedom and Pass Key which makes
FreedomBox access completely portable, essentially allowing any
computer to be your FreedomBox; and C-Saw, a process by which
we help each other, correcting inaccessible links on Web sites
we visit making the Web even more accessible to those who follow.
2005 Serotek was awarded the prestigious da Vinci Award by the
National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This award honors outstanding
engineering achievements employing universal design principles
to promote accessibility. Past winners of this award include IBM