Information Accessibility


IBM Research – Tokyo has worked on accessibility research for about 30 years, creating new information technologies to assist people with disabilities and senior citizens to actively participate in a society. The digital Braille authoring and sharing system developed in the 1980s is still in use as the basis of current de facto standard systems. IBM Home Page Reader in 1997 was the world's first practical voice-based Web browser. In the 2000s we developed aDesigner for web developers and Easy Web Browsing for people who need visual aids. These tools contributed significantly towards later assistive technologies and Web accessibility standards. We are now working to explore new applications of "crowd accessibility", which exploits the power of crowds via the Internet to improve the information accessibility.

EBTS: Efficient Book Transformation System

Digital books help people with print disabilities such as visual impairments and dyslexia. EBTS is a system to efficiently convert printed books to accessible digital books, by a combination of machine recognition engines and crowdsourced proofreading interfaces.

CCES: Collaborative Caption Editing System

Video captions help people with a hearing loss, etc. understand video contents. CCES is a system to efficiently add captions to videos, by a combination of speech recognition engines and crowdsourced proofreading interfaces.

WAIS: Web Accessibility Improvement System

Many websites have accessibility problems such as the lack of headings and alternative text. WAIS allows to quickly fix the problems without editing the original contents.

Easy Web Browsing - Cloud (EWB-C)

EWB-C is a cloud-based edition of Easy Web Browsing, which adds accessibility features such as text-to-speech and color transformation to any website.

Crowd Card

Crowd Card is a gamification system to facilitate re-distribution and re-utilization of "dead" information in an enterprise SNS.