IBM creates disability services team


IBM creates disability services team

IBM's Global Services division has formed a team of 40 consultants and 100 IT professionals to develop and implement services to make software and hardware accessible to people with disabilities.

The company is also introducing eight services to help companies and government agencies make computer technology more accessible to people with disabilities, such as sight, hearing and mobility problems.

The services addresses areas such as tweaking websites so that their content can be read aloud by voice software and so that their design can be modified and adapted for users with sight problems.

IBM said the demand for this type of technology is growing as the use of computers spreads and becomes pervasive in most people's lives, and as computer users get older, especially the approximately 76 million baby boomers in the US born between 1946 and 1964.

Another factor fuelling interest in this type of technology is legislation passed in 1998 by the US Congress requiring federal agencies to make their computers and related electronic services available to people with disabilities.

IBM is already working with the US Postal Service and the US Department of Agriculture to help them comply.

Juan Carlos Perez writes for IDG News Service

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