Ted Henter is famous within the assistive technology field for inventing the speech software package, JAWS, Job Access With Speech, one of the most widely disseminated and best-known synthetic speech software packages on the market.
Born and raised in the Panama Canal Zone, Henter was a surfer, a championship motorcycle racer, and an engineer, but a car accident in 1978 took his sight. Henter received some initial training in how to use a talking terminal from Deane Blazie and Maryland Computer Services, who later hired him to represent that product. In 1987, he teamed up with Bill Joyce to found Henter-Joyce and developed JAWS, originally a screen reader for DOS, and later Windows.
Henter-Joyce merged with Blazie Engineering and Arkenstone to form Freedom Scientific in 2000, and in 2002 Henter started a new company called Henter Math. Henter Math's product, Virtual Pencil, is a software application specifically designed for students who are blind, visually impaired, learning disabled, or motor-skill impaired.