Transforming Accessibility with Mobile Technology

Data digitization and IBM mobile technology will transform accessibility by making everything easier to use. For the worldwide population of more than 1 billion people with disabilities – in addition to older persons, novice technology users and people with language, learning, literacy or situational challenges – IBM is in a unique position to lead the movement to broaden the definitions of accessibility and inclusion.

IBM has been a pioneer in accessibility since 1914.

IBM has been a pioneer in accessibility since 1914.

The core design and usability standards that we establish in this new world of cognitive computing, mobile access, social collaboration and enhanced access will accelerate new thinking about accessibility in an era of personalization, mobility and learning systems.

Incorporating accessibility and choice into everything we do – and engaging our partners in business, government and academia to advance accessible design, standards and policy – will bridge the silos that have isolated too many for too long. In areas such as health care, education and the customer experience, our approach to engagement with individuals and organizations will shape who we are as it connects us with new markets. As we work to extend human capabilities through smarter design and greater accessibility, we also will strengthen our brand and forge new relationships and improve the quality of life.

Here are some innovative ways in which that could happen:

  • IBM Interactive will continue to reinvent client experiences with our services, using our Advanced Social Analytics Platform to create socially inspired and personalized solutions to overcome challenges traditionally associated with differing abilities.
  • IBM’s Bluemix cloud platform as service will provide an ecosystem of accessibility services, from development tools for design and testing to compliance services that will reach across organizations to ensure improved accessibility.
  • IBM will design for accessibility in the apps and solutions it creates.
  • IBM’s ongoing culture of service – contributing our technology and expertise to help overcome societal challenges – will continue to provide the human touch necessary to connect people to innovation. In areas as diverse as education, public health and economic development, IBM’s definition of “accessibility” includes creating opportunities for better lives.
  • IBM Watson and cognitive computing – systems that learn, interact in natural language and adapt to human needs without having to be programmed – will open a new world of possibilities to people with disabilities.

Accessibility is grounded in IBM’s heritage. Over our long history, we have seen how technology can bridge individual differences, enable a diverse pool of talent in the workplace, and improve lives. As we enter our second century, we will transform ourselves and the world around us to enable even greater participation of all people in meaningful and productive lives.

Frances West recently became IBM’s first Chief Accessibility Officer. For more than 25 years, Ms. West has been a globally-recognized expert in enabling human ability through accessible information and communications technology (ICT).

Related Resources:

IBM Names Chief Accessibility Officer

How Accessibility Is Redefining Personalization

InfoGraphic: IBM Has Been at the Forefront of Accessibility Innovation for 100 Years

IBM Names West Accessibility Chief

Corporate Service Corps, Indonesia: Improving Life for Persons with Disabilities

Learn more about the IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center

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