Chieko Asakawa- Challenges and Opportunities in Accessibility Research

Accessibility technologies have been empowering people with disabilities for education and work and in their daily lives by providing access to massive information resources and various online services, which are often inaccessible in the physical world. IBM Research has played an important role in this evolution since the early days of personal computers. In this presentation, she will first give an overview of the history, and introduce some of the contributions she was involved in, such as IBM Hope Page Reader, aDesigner, and ai-Browser. She will also emphasize the importance of open computing with examples of our contributions to Eclipse.org. The final part of her presentation will be the largest new challenges and opportunities of Web 2.0. The Social Accessibility project is her latest approach to improve Web accessibility by gathering users’ voices and crowd-sourcing strategy. The system involves integrating Web accessibility technologies with social computing technologies. She will conclude her speech with the revolutionary expansion of accessibility technologies for larger groups who can benefit from accessibility technologies, such as senior citizens, semi-literates, and mobile users.