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Introducing My Friendly Eyes: Pioneering Accessible Technology
My Friendly Eyes is a groundbreaking patent-pending technology, developed by five prominent leaders in the accessible technology industry. These experts are: Douglas George Towne of Access Ready, Inc., John Medcalf of VOTEC, Michael Hartman of Extrastrength Software, Corey Saur of Corey Saur, Inc., and Elizabeth Cameron of VOTEC.
Douglas George Towne, a highly respected blind advocate, inventor, and entrepreneur, has an extensive background in addressing the needs of individuals with various disabilities. Raised in the Adirondack mountains of New York State, Douglas was one of the first blind students to graduate from public school in the state. He later attended the State University of New York at Plattsburg, where he studied history and journalism.
Douglas began advocating for disability rights at the age of thirteen and entered the business world after college. He retired from the financial industry in 1994 and refocused his efforts on advocacy. Initially working as the Public Liaison for a Center for Independent Living and subsequently serving as the Chair of Disability Relations Group, Douglas now holds his current position with Access Ready.
Douglas has been widely recognized for his work on accessible election, healthcare, and telecommunication policy, legislation, and technical development. As a facilitator, he has played a crucial role in advancing many disability policy efforts, often working behind the scenes without concern for public credit.
In his role as Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Access Ready, Inc., Douglas has devoted significant attention to the individual needs of people with disabilities, including those who may have been previously overlooked by technology developers. This dedication led to the creation of the My Friendly Eyes concept, designed to assist individuals with intellectual, developmental, and sensory disabilities. Douglas also serves as the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of My Friendly Eyes, Inc.
John Medcalf, a native of New Jersey, is a talented mathematician who won several state and multi-state mathematics competitions. He attended Harvard, where he earned an AB degree in mathematics. Despite his potential for academic success, the industrial world presented even more intriguing challenges.
In 1962, when the demand for programming was already exceeding available resources, John found employment in various fields, including oceanography, warehouse controls, nuclear waste monitoring, compilers, electrocardiograms over the phone, computer chip fabrication, nuclear medicine, and punch card ballot counting.
In 1979, John founded VOTEC, which has remained a pillar in the election technology market for over 40 years. The company has consistently developed innovative products throughout its history. Inspired by Steve Jobs’ approach to innovation, John believes in creating products that people will want even before they realize they need them. This philosophy echoes Henry Ford’s reputed statement: “If I asked people what improvement they wanted in transportation, they would have told me ‘faster horses.'”
John attributes his success to his ability to empathize with user frustrations and his vast knowledge of potential solutions, with simplicity being a top priority. As with Henry Ford’s innovations, the development of groundbreaking technology like My Friendly Eyes is the result of hard work, dedication, and a visionary approach.
John’s belief in My Friendly Eyes is further supported by his work on VOTEC’s WelcomeVoter Kiosk, a leap forward in making voting more inclusive for all. John is the MFE Vice-Chairman and Chief Development Officer.
Liz Cameron, a computer expert since the 1970s, saw promising career opportunities in the field early on. After relocating to Orlando in Orange County, she was hired by the Orange County IT department. Liz quickly climbed the ranks, becoming responsible for county payroll and, several years later, elections. As Elections IT manager, Liz earned her certification as an Oracle Master DBA and managed the certification of new voting equipment for both the County and the State of Florida.
Following a five-year tenure in her role, Liz joined VOTEC Corporation in San Diego, where she has served as the DBA for over 150 customers’ Oracle installations and managed VOTEC’s Oracle contracts. Drawing on her extensive experience, Liz currently serves as the Treasurer for My Friendly Eyes, Inc.
Mike Hartman, who has amassed over 35 years of experience in software and systems development, saw the potential in the My Friendly Eyes concept and eagerly joined the project. As the owner of Extrastrength Software, LLC, Mike specializes in providing software and services on a contract basis, with a primary focus on smartphone apps and cloud services.
Mike began writing software at the age of thirteen and secured his first paid position with the Technology Transfer Team, Information Systems Engineering Command (TTT/ISEC) at the Department of Defense (DOD) when he was just sixteen. He started his first business at nineteen, developing 3D modeling and animation software, with his first publication in 1990. Given his work on VOTEC’s Welcome Voter Kiosk and associated phone application, accessibility is now second nature to Mike. He currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for My Friendly Eyes, Inc.
Corey Saur, who recently retired from UPS after a twenty-five-year career, brings a wealth of logistics expertise to the team. Starting as a loader and unloader of aircraft at UPS, Corey quickly advanced to management positions, ultimately boasting a zero-mistake history over his entire career, an impressive accomplishment that highlights his commitment to efficiency and accuracy. As the Chief of Staff and Corporate Secretary for My Friendly Eyes, Inc., Corey’s experience in logistics management plays a crucial role in the company’s operations.
Together, this dedicated and accomplished leadership team is committed to making a significant impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities through the innovative My Friendly Eyes technology.
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