July 10, 2008

IBM Provides Web Accessibility for Blind Users

IBM has developed collaboration software to improve web accessibility for blind or partially sighted users who run screen-reading software that describes the content of a web page.

The screen readers rely on text or descriptive tags to explain the items on a page, which are generally incomplete. IBM said the new Social Accessibility software allows users to report the problems to a central database and ask for additional descriptive text to be added to a site.

It also allows other internet users to improve internet accessibility by using the tool to contribute alternative text. The software is available for JAWS screen readers using Internet Explorer, and a Firefox plug-in is available for volunteers adding data to the project.

A beta version of the software is available at IBM's AlphaWorks web site.