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University of Connecticut Assistive Technology Oral History Project

Martin McKay

Date: October 21, 2010

Martin says he's a geek from Ireland who became interested in disabilities when his dad had a stroke and lost the ability to speak. He got a computer at the age of 12 and has been writing programs ever since. Early on he started a company, beginning with a simple talking word processor, an onscreen keyboard, and a single switch keyboard, and moving more and more into learning disabilities.

The transcript talks about early funding of the company, learning about dyslexia, the development of TextHelp, and more recently Mark McCuskers influence as chief executive. The company sold into the U.S. from Ireland after release of Read & Write Gold, eventually opening an office in Boston, now located in Woburn, with a total staff of about 100 between the U.S. and Ireland.

Toward the end of the interview Martin described the very unique product - BrowseAloud. I can't condense this product into a paragraph, but it's explained on pages 9-11 of the transcript. BrowseAloud is being used by the house of congress, the House of Representatives and other U.S. Government sites as well as by the UK and other European governments.

Snippet 1: "How did you get int the disability field and assistive technology?"

Snippet 2: "What was your first important software?"


Download: Full Transcript