IBM, Universities Expand Accessibility Project

IBM is working with several universities to expand a repository of reusable learning materials that will make it easier for student developers to make software more accessible to people with disabilities. The repository will help change a culture in which the majority of faculty respondents do not teach accessibility in the classroom, IBM said.

The University of Illinois, California State University at Long Beach, Georgia Tech, University of Toronto, and the Rochester Institute of Technology are currently working with IBM on the project to incorporate accessible software into everyday programming classes.

The repository, called the Accessibility Common Courseware Exchange for Software Studies (ACCESS), will be a global collection point for accessibility technologies, IBM said. For instance, the University of Illinois recently added an online course about universal Web site design to the repository. Other materials, such as courseware, teaching and training tools, and books will be available to the academic community at no charge via the repository.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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