The countdown over the last 10 days was leding up to something. And here it is!
Greetings and salutations Serotekiens!
I'm super awesome thrilled to be here and I am looking forward to meeting many members of the community. Wait a second, that is the end bit. I got a little ahead of myself. Must remember, introductions first. My name is Joe Steinkamp, however, many of you reading this might know me by another name. A particular call sign on a little old blog called The Ranger Station. Ranger1138 is my alter ego of the past 15 years. Now he and I are one thanks to the fine people at Serotek.
But if you haven't read my blog, followed me on Twitter or noticed that I haven't updated Facebook in an extremely long while, let me give you some pertinent information as to the "who" behind the "why" I'm coming aboard one of the most exciting places to be in the Assistive Technology Industry.
At 7 years old I dreamed of being in radio. Those dreams came true in college. However, I found that I craved to have more interaction with people beyond the spinning of today's top hits. So, I got into sales. Really expensive home theater sales. that became more retail driven and I found myself working as a Corporate Trainer for a large retail chain. When that came to a crashing end, I moved into the cubes of technical support for what was then [and is no longer] a major computer manufacturer.
None of that on face value sounds like much I know. Here are the more relevant parts of my history. For the last 10 years I've worked in Vocational Rehabilitation and Rehab Engineering for the State of Texas. For 5 of those years I was lucky enough to work in a room with more than $250,000 worth of new and currently available Assistive Technology. Video Magnifiers, Screen Readers, OCR solutions, Screen Magnification programs, Braille Displays, portable note takers, book readers and tons more. Chances are if it beeped, flashed, talked or if it was generally to expensive to own I may have worked with it during my time in this amazing room full of toys.
As much as I loved helping Blind folks find the right product to fit their needs for their job, I longed for the ability to delve into specific technologies and subjects outside my four walls. Fantastic platforms like the Serotalk podcasts and Tech Chats have really widened my thoughts on many portions of the technology landscape. I mentioned this to a few at Serotek, a tranquilizer dart was fired and I woke up here typing on this blog in a font that isn't mine. Or, I was offered the opportunity to participate in the company's vision and I readily jumped at the chance to share in that grand adventure.
Okay, now that I've filled in some of the blanks, I'm now hoping to get to know all of you better. I am ecstatic to be able to come on board and be a part of the Serotek Community. And I'm looking forward to talking about an array of subjects that we as a Blind Community face in our daily lives. Just one thing before I start, I want to thank several of the Serotek staff for giving me a padded cell instead of the generic government issued cube to live in during my stay with the company. So far it is very luxurious and comfy.