Wednesday, January 03, 2007

IBM continues to innovate with WebAdapt2Me

Big Blue keeps working on in-roads for access.

IBM, the company who originated the pc and later created the Home Page Reader, continues to develop and enhance software for providing computer access for people with disabilities. In the latest advent, IBM worked with a professor at California State University Long Beach to test the usability of the features of IBM’s newest software,

In this small-scale study, the professor put together a team of ten students and faculty members with visual, hearing and other disabilities to test the new access tool in a trial basis. They used the personally adjustable software to read on-line textbooks. The features of the application allowed each user to change the type size, color, and contrast to best suit their individual access needs, as well as the key feature of allowing the user to change the page layout.

According to the official
IBM WebAdapt2Me press site:
“IBM WebAdapt2Me software allows individuals to view the Web in a way that's most productive for them. For example, people with low vision can change the size of the type and the colors and contrast of the page for easier viewing. People with learning disabilities can reduce the visual clutter of the page by, for example, reducing several columns to one, so they can follow the text more easily. People without full mobility can set up their system so the mouse and keyboard are easier to use. And people with learning disabilities can ask WebAdapt2Me to read the text on the screen aloud, using IBM ViaVoice technology. “

A tip of the hat to IBM for continued innovation making technology personally accessible. Another nod goes to the state of California for requiring that textbooks be made available on-line. These are examples of embracing technology and using insight to see where it can be best applied to serve a broad spectrum of people.

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