Great product, training, support and sales experience from IrieAT!I was in desperate need for an alternative to hand-Brailing information for my institution’s needs. Naturally, I was highly skeptical of the options available for embossing Braille and tactile graphics, due to the price of such hardware. I ended up taking a recommendation from a colleague on IrieAT’s BrailleSheet 120 and think my colleague under-sold what I would be getting.First off, when I made a sales inquiry with IrieAT, I received a very detailed reply back the same day from someone who seemed genuinely interested in my specific needs. I even received a lot of great tips on how to structure my material for optimal experience from low-/no-vision users who read Braille.After purchasing the BrailleSheet 120, I immediately tapped into IrieAT Support, having an issue that I didn’t understand. That issue was quickly laid to rest in a very detailed and hands-on approach that I did not expect, but was very grateful to have.Next, when I requested training on the device and software, I realized there were a lot more opportunities with the BrailleSheet 120 than I had originally planned for. Shortly after the personalized training, I began working on some event materials, and was very pleased that double-sided Brailing went just as fast as printing the materials in the first place.Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with my experience with IrieAT and the BrailleSheet 120. It’s been a game changer for the work I do as an IT Accessibility Coordinator.
I just want to express my deep appreciation for the Smart Vision2. I purchased this phone for my brother who lost his eyesight in 2013. We live in different states. He calls me constantly stating how much he loves this phone and how it has allowed him a measure of independence that would likely not have if not for this Smart Vision2. He has expressed to me how fascinating and magnificent this phone is and that each day he uses it more and more new and great things are discovered. This phone identifies colors, objects, rereads his mail and other documents. He often uses it to listen to music and television programs. He is so happy and so very pleased with its performance, which make me so happy and thrilled for him.
I lost my vision 5-ish years ago, and was in process of getting my Bachelors’ finished and continuing my Masters’ program of study to be an educator (Secondary Math & Science Teacher).
I ‘retired’ from IS/IT as a Systems’ Analyst because it was difficult for me to keep up with the fast-paced industry and— well— go blind.
I’ve worked on everything from InterData’s pdp-11 for Phillip-Morris to learning VMWare’s VSphere … ‘varriations’ and Hyper-V , and just all-a-round Circuit-Monkeying. I learned my way around a unix box at 15 and was on IRC / EMail back wheN VAX/VMS Clusters were the fashion.
I— am only 45 now, which goes to show you that not only did I get an early start, I had (have?) a pension for the work, the industry, and would gnaw my arm off at the elbow if I didn’t need it to type to stay working in the field…
IT/AT as you well know is expensive, and isn’t necessarily ‘accessible’— Having been sighted and learning my ‘puters with eyes, I found it incredibly frustrating to try and even use a screen-reader to do anything. I thought I would have to say goodbye to my industry, my electronic companions, and all my nerd, geek, tech, buddies. I almost have none left as it is, but getting back to work has been ridiculously difficult when I can’t function as I once did.
Ken’s ability to walk & talk me thru a partial tear-down and inspection of this Index Basic S (was told it was D ) and get familiar with it enough to potentially ‘fix’ it myself, and determine it’s actual hammer-count, and put it back together, and have ready answers to questions that a veteran IT Solder-Munkie like me would ask actually makes me want to leap for the rafters— but again— i digress…
Absolutely the most direct, upfront, courageous, and knowledgeable support contact i’ve had the pleasure of speaking to and getting support from in a very long time!
I’m a bit ‘salty’ and can be blunt, and don’t like being ‘handled’. I received NONE of that & have to let y ou (Thomas) and Sales, and Ken know just what it meant/means to me to have had the pleasure to make your support and just how amazingly elated I am after our conversation. I am not often given to propping-up support organizations because I find most unworthy— particularly when you have been around as many blocks as many times as have i— That said, Thank you again, and great job guys. Consider me your “East-not-nearly-near-enough-coast” ambassador/rep/extension office. I have a ‘support-plan’ discussed with Mr. Ken and look forward to our future business.
It’s a CRYING SHAME Oregon & Louisville Kentucky are soo far apart. I’d be sending a resume attached to this ‘testimonial’ if it were appropriate!
Respectfully & sincerely,
As blind students, drawing and the visual aspects of math and science are often dismissed as a waste of time or impossible. This totally disregards those students, like myself who happen to be visual learners. My brain thrives on pictures, in spite of the years of teachers and professors striving to cram me into the memorizer box that is assigned to blind learners. Once I got away from so-called blindness experts/educators, I entered the real academic world.
I am completing my premed requirements, and my physics professor and Tudor both made it clear that if I wanted to do physics, I would be exposed to drawings one way or another. The same has been true for my more extensive studies of organic chemistry. There is a reason these subjects use drawings, and without the TactiPad, I could not learn at the pace of my classmates or do impromptu exercises/quizzes.
I suffered many frustrations learning to make decent lines, rings, and free-body diagrams, but I am now drawing with confidence. I have spent 34 years of my life only handling a pen or pencil in order to sign my signature, and so the learning curve has been steep for me. However, my drawings don’t look any worse than those of my peers at this point I am proficient enough with this product to turn out very useable pictures from the descriptions my professor gives as he is drawing on the chalkboard. If I get lost or confused, I simply pass the pad to my notetaker, and I get a structure or graph that allows me to participate and answer questions along with the rest of my class.
The TactiPad has been instrumental in my transformation from a fearful and anxious student who lacked the confidence to speak up in class or go to my professor in private with my questions, into a strong participant in lectures and study sessions who is often right on the money with the answers.
Yesterday we were learning to construct energy diagrams of reactions, and the instructor was explaining how to draw the activation and free energies for two products from the same reactants under different conditions. I went home still somewhat unsure what the final product should look like, as I was also focused on what was being said about this particular reaction. I did some reading on my own and produced what I thought was an accurate representation of the energy diagram which best described this situation.
I went to see my prof this morning and presented my drawing. He did not tell me it was okay or adequate. He said it was excellent, and that it just needed a few labels in the form of some deltas to represent changes in free energy.I have gotten a handle on the common printed letters used in o chem, but a lot of it is still Greek to me, but I will get there.
In the past, I was so ashamed of my attempts to construct mental pictures of things, that I was afraid to seek help from anyone who might be critical or dismissive if I had it wrong. This created a vicious cycle of misunderstanding, getting questions wrong, and having more anxiety the next time I needed to take a quiz or exam. After working with the TactiPad, I am now confident enough to present my pictures as visual aids for my questions or as parts of assignments.
Perhaps the most ironic thing to come out of this, is that my mental acuity and ability to do organic chemistry in my head from memory has improved exponentially. If I can draw, I can remember. I don’t know how so many of us blind students keep believing we can memorize things and understand science without ways to visualize it in our brains. Science is done in the mind. How it gets there is not as important as getting it there via one’s hands, or eyes, or both.
I wish to say a few words about Ken Taylor, your support/technician.
I have an Index Basic D v3 embosser that has served me well for nearly 14 years. When it failed, I was pleased to discover Irie-AT, primarily because of its West Coast location. My experience with Ken convinced me of the overall excellence of the company.
I shipped the embosser to you for repair and cleaning. The job was completed in a timely manner. Ken kindly walked me through re-installing it on my system and made sure all was working well. It now produces crisp braille and responds to my commands without hesitation.
Ken was the epitome of expertise, patience, creativity, kindness, and written and verbal communication skills. He made me feel I was the most important of his clients, and I knew he would persevere until the problems with the embosser were resolved.
Ken is a gem, and Irie-AT is now my “go-to” destination for embosser-related matters. I look forward to informing agencies in the greater Seattle area about Irie-AT. I know several that use Index embossers and Duxbury software. I think they will be pleased to know of a service such as yours just a few hours down the road.
(Carolyn’s Braille Services)
I wanted to compliment a couple of your employees on great customer service that I received in the last couple of days.
I work for Austin Independent School District as a Braillist, and we recently purchased the Index Basic V5 for production of braille to K-12 students. Yesterday, I needed some assistance in setting up the software as well as altering my Tactileview settings. I spoke with Ben on several occasions (in one day). He was very patient and never complained or even gave off the impression that I was bothering him after calling in so many times. During one of the calls, he informed me that he was new to the company. If he had not have told me that, I would never have known. He helped me understand how to navigate through the menus on my embosser and set up everything so that I could get back to my job quickly without getting behind on my work. Great personality!!!
Today, I had a quick question and called in again. I had the pleasure of speaking with Cody, and he solved my issue within a minute. He was very knowledgeable and helpful as well.
I cannot express how much I appreciate the great customer service that you provide. Your knowledgeable employees make me look good as well because I am able to get new equipment set up quickly and return to my job without missing a beat.
Love the embosser, by the way! Much better than my previous one.
You guys have a great day and thanks again for all your help!
I am writing to document and express appreciation for John Taylor’s superb technical support for issues with a Basic-D Version 3 braille embosser. I am blind and have used several brands of braille embossers in my work and at home. However, I had never used an Index embosser and had not had any embosser at home for many years because I had access to embossers at my work. When I retired in September of 2016, I decided to purchase assistive technology that would allow me to pursue projects that I wanted to undertake in retirement. Because I planned to purchase a series of high-ticket items (a braille display, a notetaker/PDA, an embosser, and braille translation software), I investigated both new and second-hand equipment. After researching Index embossers, I knew that Version 4 would meet my needs and that Version 3 would not. I purchased a second-hand Index braille embosser which was presented as a Basic-D Version 4. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a Version 3.
I worked with John during two phone calls. He helped me determine that I had a Version 3, not a 4, and explored several ways to get my Windows 7 PC to see the embosser. After trying various approaches remotely, John suggested that the USB to parallel cable that was shipped to me with the embosser might be faulty. I am in process of getting a new cable. John advised me to call Technical Support again when my new cable arrives because some remote tweaking may be required to get the PC and embosser to communicate.
I am impressed with the support I received from John and Irie-AT for several reasons. First, I had not purchased this unit from Irie-AT. Manufacturers/distributers typically do not support equipment that was purchased second-hand. Second, this Index embosser version is so far out-of-date that it is not being sold. It takes a lot more work and expertise to try to make old technology work with today’s PCs. Third, I am a total newbie with regard to Index embossers. I lack basic information about and familiarity with buttons, procedures, etc. I needed to be told every step and could not offer possible solutions based on prior knowledge. I couldn’t provide any help in the problem-solving process.
John Taylor was patient with my lack of knowledge, gave clear instructions, and went the extra mile to try to figure out how to get my PC and the embosser connected properly. It was clear from his presentation that he truly cared about my situation and that he truly wanted to get this embosser working for me. His kindness and concern about the needs of a customer, even one who did not purchase from Irie-AT, speaks volumes both about John and about your company.
I hope that a new USB-to-parallel cable will solve my problem, but I understand that we may or may not be able to get this embosser up and running and that I may ultimately have to send it to Irie-AT to find out if it can be made workable. But I know that I am working with a company that makes concern for the customer a very high priority – and I know this because of the tremendous technical support that John Taylor has provided me.
I send heart-felt appreciation to John and to your company. I know that you all will hang in with me and do what it takes to either get this embosser working or determine that it is not feasible to do so. I will definitely be in touch when I have a new cable.
I cannot begin to describe the time John spent with me on the phone in response to my problems. During this time he spent SEVERAL HOURS to resolve my issues. His attitude was always very professional and not once did I get the impression I was intruding on his time.
He is proud of his company and his position to help his clients…his knowledge of his product is amazing. I also had the opportunity to work with Ken and Cody which increased my respect for the Oregon office.
I cannot say enough about John. You are fortunate to have in your company.
I have recently become visually impaired. As you are aware the process of finding the right technology to try and maintain a similar lifestyle is daunting with few companies and firms that have my best interest in mind vs. their own bottom line.
In my search, I came across the few magnification and speech software programs that I thought might work. I started with Zoom Text and after a few days of poor customer service and unstable product I quickly continued my research and came across Super Nova.
From the first introduction call I felt that this was a different company and one that really got what customer service is supposed to be. I had many questions and all were answered without me feeling rushed or put off. I especially would like to recognize John Taylor for his extraordinary level of support. John has the ideal personality to work people who are stressed and frustrated with their chronic or new disabilities. John has a unique ability that very few people have…he can take relatively complex concepts and explain them in a way that the end user can understand and do with empathy and understanding.
At the end of the day, I have decided not to purchase the product at this time. I actually feel bad not buying Super Nova since John spent so much time with me and thoroughly explained everything. Should my need become more of a fit for Super Nova, John is the first person I will call.
Further, to show you that good customer service is NEVER a waste of time, as a result of John’s efforts, I have already spoken with my low vision doctor who usually recommends Zoom text and told her of my experiences and she was so happy to hear this that I believe she will be recommending your product. She did bring up the lack of support for Zoom Text and was getting frustrated with them. I also spoke with one of senior managers from my states commission for blind, who is an acquaintance, and told him about your support team. He indicated that he will pass it along to their tech team who are always looking to make life easier for their clients.
Bottom line, John is the kind of employee that makes a difference and adds to the bottom line.