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This profile was last updated on 4/24/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Mr. Noel Runyan

Wrong Noel Runyan?

Engineer and Assistive Technology...

Phone: (617) ***-****  HQ Phone
National Braille Press Inc
88 Saint Stephen Street
Boston , Massachusetts 02115
United States

Company Description: A non-profit braille publisher, National Braille Press promotes literacy for blind children through outreach programs and provides access to information by...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • degree , Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
24 Total References
Web References
NBP - Technology: Center for Braille Innovation, 24 April 2014 [cached]
Noel Runyan, engineer and assistive technology (AT) consultant; developed the CBI Human Factor team focusing on AT features and ergonomics.
About Us Personal Data Systems, Inc., 28 July 2014 [cached]
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.
He 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. He 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. Noel 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 and his 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. Additionally, he 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.
ACCURATE » People, 11 April 2014 [cached]
Noel Runyan has over thirty-six years experience with microprocessors, digital logic, analog circuits, speech output, systems architecture, human interface design, and development of access technology for persons with disabilities. He has extensive experience with the development and application of speech and braille interface technologies and integration of computer systems with speech, braille, and/or large print output. He founded Speech Works in 1983, which was renamed Personal Data Systems in 1985, to develop communications devices for persons with visual impairments. In addition, Mr. Runyan has designed and developed hardware and software for the Audapter speech synthesizer and the Talking Tablet System as well as authored the EasyScan, BuckScan and PicTac scanning programs.
Handicapped Voters And DREs Don't Mix Well, 14 June 2009 [cached]
Noel Runyan, a blind voter and computer scientist who is an expert in designing accessible systems, said touch screens are a good idea in theory, but they need a thorough redesign to work in practice. He said the voting companies appeared to have ignored feedback they solicited from groups of blind voters as they were developing their systems.
"I personally want them to be decertified for this election," Runyan said.
This is clearly illustrated by the report Improving Access to Voting: A report on the Technology for Accessible Voting Systems (PDF), by Noel Runyan.
Noel Runyan, Voting access technology engineer member of Santa Clara County Voter Access Advisory Committee, and author of "Improving Access to Voting"
NBP Programs - Touch of Genius Prize: Committee, 25 Nov 2010 [cached]
Noel Runyan is founder and primary consultant at Personal Data Systems, Inc. Mr. Runyan holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and has been working in human factors engineering for over 36 years developing access technologies for helping people with visual impairments use computers and other electronic devices. His many accomplishments in this field include helping develop the original VersaBraille while at Telesensory Systems and serving as Director of R&D for Talking Solutions. While at IBM from 1973-1978, he developed the first text-to-speech program used on microprocessors and co-invented the first talking touch screen/tablet systems. He also serves on NBP's Center for Braille Innovation team.
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