Wired To Work

On the air
Wired to Work

By harnessing the power of technology, Marty Tibor is making it possible for disabled workers to perform on a level playing field with their peers.

Transcending Markets
Synapse has helped workers from numerous companies including NASA, The New York Times, Wells Fargo, Sony and Apple. But the company isn't spending its energies trying to garner high-profile clients. Besides attending two annual trade shows geared towards disabled Americans, the company does little marketing.

"It's not required that we go out and try to convince people that they need this product. It's sort of like you don't have to tell someone you need a wheelchair," Tibor explains. "We try to find environments where we're most effective, and where we're most effective is accommodating people in a return-to-work situation."

Certainly, the technology isn't cheap. It costs $10,000 to accommodate an individual with a TAP system, which includes on-site installation and training. However, the expense is worth it for employers to get an injured worker back on the job, rather than trying to find and train a replacement ó a cost most industry studies say is 1 to 1.5 times higher than the annual salary of the departing employee.

At a Glance
Name: Synapse Adaptive
Founder: Marty Tibor
Location: San Raphael, Calif.
URL: www.synapseadaptive.com Founded: 1985
Revenue: N/A
Employees: 18
Industry: Computer consulting and programming
While the technology could be used to ward off repetitive strain injuries, such as carpel tunnel syndrome, so far many companies are just sticking with ergonomic enhancers, rather than investing money to protect their able-bodied employees.

"To be honest, people donít do much preventative stuff. It's kind of the same reason you donít go to the doctor and tell him youíre feeling fine," Tibor says. "Itís an expense, and it takes an effort, and what drive things in most peopleís lives and in business are compelling needs."

No matter ó the company has a market rich with 15 million Americans who are disabled and ready to work, and, for Tibor, that's who Synapse is out to serve.

"When we take an individual who may not be able to use any part of their anatomy and has no access to printed material or be able to work or go to school or something like that, and we can deploy a solution that can actually enable them, it's really great," he beams. "It's good work, and we just feel pretty happy about it."


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