IBM/University Collaboration To Develop Open-Source Accessibility Tools
University researchers in the United States and the U.K. have
started collaborating with IBM to develop open-source software
solutions aimed at bringing accessibility to older workers to "help
them adapt to and remain productive in the changing workplace of the
21st century," according to information released late last week by IBM.
The effort is part of IBM's Open Collaborative Research initiative,
which creates partnerships with universities for the purpose of
developing and releasing open-source tools to the public.
The new partnership brings together researchers from the University
of Dundee's School of Computing in the U.K. and the University of
Miami's Miller School of Medicine in a concerted effort to develop
assistive technologies and gain insight into new ways to improve
workplace performance in maturing workers by improving the workplace
itself and by increasing the ability of older workers to use technology.
"Older workers represent an extremely valuable resource. However
they need to have tools available to them to be able to compete in
today's technology driven workplace," said Sara J. Czaja, a professor
at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, in a statement
released Friday. "We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate
with IBM as it provides us with a unique opportunity to have the
results of our research efforts translated into actual products and
tools. It also provides a wonderful opportunity for our students."
Miami's research efforts will focus on technology work settings,
with an emphasis on developing e-learning tools targeting older
workers. The work will build on research from the Center for Research
and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) and the
Center on Aging. Dundee will focus on producing visualizations and
The results of the project, as with all IBM OCR projects, will be
"made available as open source software code, and all additional
intellectual property developed based on those results will be openly
published or made available royalty-free," according to IBM.