Noel Runyan is the primary consultant at Personal Data Systems
Since 2003 Noel
has been seriously studying and testing the accessibility and usability of all the major voting systems used in this country.
He has worked with the Santa Clara County Voter Access Advisory Committee, ACCURATE advisory committee, voting rights advocates, and manufacturers to make voting systems more accessible for all folks with disabilities or special language needs.
In addition to donating his
time as a voting systems consultant, he
has given testimony as an expert witness in 6 separate court cases, challenging the shoddy access features of many of the voting systems and pressing for meaningful rather than mere token accessibility.
testified at the PFAW Forum on Election Systems
, testified to the US House Administration Subcommittee on Election Reform, testified to the Texas State House Committee on Voting Systems
, and led the access testing teams for the California Secretary of State's Top-To-Bottom Reviews of voting machines.
With his degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Noel Runyan has been working in human-factors engineering since 1974, primarily developing access technologies for helping persons with visual impairments use computers and other electronic devices.
has experience with microprocessors, digital logic, analog circuits, speech output, systems architecture, human interface design, and development of access technology.
As Director of R&D for the startup company, Talking Solutions, he helped develop talking Internet radios and medical products such as talking pill bottles, exercise monitors, and blood pressure meters.
After founding Personal Data Systems, Inc. to supply access technologies, he designed and manufactured the Audapter speech synthesizer, to enable computers to talk to visually impaired users.
also authored the EasyScan, BuckScan, and PicTac programs that made it easier for visually impaired users to read print books, identify dollar bills, and convert print pictures into raised line tactile drawings.
To help their visually impaired customers access and make use of computer systems, Noel
wife, Deborah, have personally built over 500 custom-integrated personal computers with speech, braille, and large print interfaces.
While at Telesensory Systems, from 1978 to 1982, he worked on the development of the original VersaBraille, the first American braille laptop computer, and he also led development of the TeleBraille communicator for deaf-blind users and the VOCA (Voice Output Communications Aid) for people with severe speech impairments.
While at IBM, from 1973 - 1978, he co-led the Nonvisual Display research project, developed the first text-to-speech program ever used on microprocessors, co-invented the first talking touch screen/tablet systems, and developed talking terminal and talking typewriter prototypes.
worked on design of magnetic bubble memory chips and interface circuits, and the design and testing of magnetic stripe card security systems for ATMs and BART ticket machines.