Innovation at an unprecedented pace—it is the hallmark of the 21st century. Never before have we had the information, the tools and the understanding to change, to improve—to innovate—so rapidly.
But the ability of societies, communities, enterprises and individuals to innovate is not just about producing more products and services for all of us. It's about creating experiences, outcomes and environments that address the individual preferences of each of us.
Individual preferences and abilities are the focus of the IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center. At IBM, accessibility means more than just removing barriers to online information and services. It means enabling human capabilities through innovation so that everyone—regardless of age or ability—can maximize their potential.
The IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center is dedicated to enabling human capability through technical innovation. And in the fields of healthcare, education and government—the Public Sector—this means helping to ensure that patients, students, families, citizens, residents, customers and employees can productively interact with the information and services they need anytime, anywhere—in the format they prefer. The on demand world. It's accessible.
"Accessibility—which started out as a philanthropic effort—has now evolved to a business transformation effort for IBM and our clients." — Sam Palmisano, IBM chairman and CEO
As members of the global economy, governments are under increasing pressure to develop globally—competitive skilled workforces, to enhance their economic vitality and to ensure the safety and security of their citizens, residents and visitors.
As providers of services, governments are challenged by the demand for self-service government, the increase in multilingual populations and the needs of maturing populations.
And as employers, governments are competing with the private sector to attract and retain top talent and racing against time as large portions of the existing workforce begin to retire. The United States government's Office of Personnel Management (OPM) projects a retirement surge to start in fiscal 2008 and run through fiscal 2011. During this time, more than 60,000 full-time civil service employees will be retiring each year.
One strategy to help governments meet these diverse challenges in the face of ever-present fiscal constraints is to deploy technologies that help government provide information and services that are accessible across the breadth of the population.
"IBM has moved beyond being an innovative company to being an innovation company..." — Paul Horn, IBM senior vice president, Research
New thinking. New technology. New solutions.
In today's on-demand world, the public expects and requires quick, easy access to information and services. To meet the public's expectations, many countries are instituting e-government initiatives, calling for the use of modern technologies that facilitate productivity and enable faster and better responses to their citizens. E-government initiatives, along with legislation that requires access to information technology for people with disabilities, are compelling reasons for governments to invest in accessible technology.
With accessibility features integrated into on demand solutions, IBM can help governments better inform and engage the people they serve. With technologies like IBM WebAdapt2Me, IBM's solutions for Social Services help employees adjust their portal-based work environment to enhance their productivity. This is especially helpful for mature workers with diminished vision, hearing or dexterity. And as more governments-both large and small-increase the size and scale of their Digital Community projects, following IBM accessibility roadmaps can help ensure that their Web sites and portals-the gateways to their communities-as well as business applications, training and educational content are all accessible and designed to enable and empower employees, citizens, residents and visitors.
Helping more people benefit from computing and information resources is part of IBM's larger vision of on demand computing, making a wide range of affordable business services readily accessible and easy to use.
"Open standards must take hold in every industry..." — Sam Palmisano, IBM chairman and CEO
Around the world, primary and secondary school systems, as well as colleges and universities, are responding to the pressure to innovate and transform to meet the competitive demands of the knowledge economy. These demands—to extend their curriculum, differentiate their institution, build schools without walls and develop learning systems based on open technologies—in addition to changes in the expectations of students, parents, educators, staff and even employers—are driving the transformation in education.
IBM's solutions for education meet these requirements and help schools, colleges and universities around the globe to open their doors to students of all ages and abilities.
With innovative portal solutions incorporating technologies like IBM WebAdapt2Me, schools and higher education institutions can improve the learning experience for all students, especially those with visual or mobility impairments, dyslexia or reading disabilities. Many students will appreciate WebAdapt2Me's self—adjusting keyboard technology that automatically adjusts to their typing style, reducing the problem of "sticky" keys.
As enrollment of "non-traditional" students increases, educators, students and their families the world over can count on IBM for innovation that supports the life-long learning process and education solutions that address the needs of educators and students alike-regardless of age or ability.
Few industries face such dramatic change as the healthcare field. And with the complexities associated with consumer-centric healthcare, interconnectivity, security and privacy, IBM is helping healthcare providers, administrators, and pharmaceutical companies develop innovative ways to achieve their primary goal: to maintain or improve the wellness of the individual.
IBM is committed to helping build patient-centric healthcare solutions. Tools like Easy Web Browsing make it easier for individuals to use hospital and clinic Web sites by simplifying the Web environment, adding voice technologies and allowing the user to adjust the browser interface to suit their personal preferences. Easy Web Browsing helps hospitals and clinics reach more people with their online information and services—especially users with low vision, users who do not regularly use the Internet and users who may have difficulties reading the language. Easy Web Browsing allows healthcare providers to reach patients, families and communities with easier access to online healthcare information and services.
Transforming healthcare work environments to meet the preferences of doctors, nurses, clinical staff and administrators is key to helping caregivers stay focused on their patients. An IBM accessibility roadmap offers hospitals, clinics or physician offices a comprehensive assessment of their current IT accessibility as well as a clear, actionable roadmap to guide IT investments. It will also show how patients, employees, suppliers and community members will benefit from the improvements made. The result? An enterprise roadmap that helps to improve the productivity of a diverse workforce.
And when it comes to providing healthcare services or to developing and seeking approval for new treatments, regulatory compliance is a top administrative and operational concern. The IBM Solution for Compliance in a Regulated Environment (SCORE) pairs risk management with productivity improvements to not only help reduce fines, revenue loss or negative branding associated with noncompliance, it also offers improved productivity by assisting with accurate and expedited submissions. Whether compliance is required to meet privacy, security, accessibility or financial regulations, IBM SCORE is streamlined and forward-looking, built on a solid understanding of both risk and business value.
|Strategy and roadmap planning|
|Application and Web design|
|Governance and policy formation|
|IT development integration|
|e-Learning design and delivery|
|Marketing and communications planning|
|Easy Web Browsing|
|* These IBM accessibility technologies are available in conjunction with an IBM consulting engagement.|
Helping organizations to be more accessible—to make their information and services more available to customers, students, citizens, residents and employees of all ages and abilities—is as promising as it is challenging. IBM's focus on accessibility transformation stems from the simple belief that we must reflect the diverse and changing needs of our clients and employees. That means going beyond mere compliance with accessibility regulations to create a better user experience and improve a user's interaction, productivity and satisfaction with information technology.
Today, IBM is helping Public Sector clients around the world to innovate with IBM Accessibility Services. These governments, educators and healthcare organizations are improving access to and the usability of their online information and services. It's about innovation for each of us; helping to improve the quality of service and the quality of life for all of us. It's about innovation that matters.
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