IBM to Demonstrate Portfolio of Accessibility Technologies at California State University's Technology and Persons With Disabilities Conference

Solutions Powering San Francisco State University's New Accessible Website for Students and Faculty

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LOS ANGELES, CA - 16 Mar 2005: At the California State University at Northridge (CSUN) "Technology and Persons with Disabilities" conference, IBM today showcased its portfolio of accessibility technologies and developer tools central to its recently announced $2.3 million agreement with San Francisco State University.

As part of the partnership, IBM will customize the San Francisco State University's new Website to meet or exceed current accessibility guidelines for students and faculty with disabilities, furthering the university's commitment to provide information technology that is easily used by all members of its academic community.

"San Francisco State University is taking a leadership role in accessibility and is committed to opening up the world of the Internet to everyone associated with our university," said Jonathan Rood, SFSU associate vice president for information technology. "We chose IBM to help us with this project after carefully reviewing the accessibility features and compliance status of IBM's products and services."

As part of the agreement, IBM will also update the University's communication technologies, bringing unified e-mail, calendaring, group collaboration and Web conferencing to university students, faculty and staff.

"To further IBM's commitment to innovation by providing information technology that is easy to use for everyone, we are actively working with universities in this country as well as in Europe and Asia to help them reconfigure their IT systems and websites to make them widely accessible," said Frances West, director of IBM's Worldwide Accessibility Center. "There's no better place to promote equal access to innovation and information than in a center of higher learning."

San Francisco State University's new Website, which will be built on IBM WebSphere Portal software, will allow students and faculty to set up custom windows or portals into the Website. Community members will be able to use those portals to, for example, work collaboratively with members of a study group; chat online with other students and faculty; instantly set up and host live Web conferences, and post research, ideas and questions specific to their group's focus in a customized team room.

At CSUN, IBM's Worldwide Accessibility Center will demonstrate its toolkit of solutions in Booth #269/270:

Home Page Reader
Home Page Reader, a talking Web browser, is also an effective tool for developers to test Web pages for accessibility early in the prototype/design stage as well as after the content or application has been deployed. Thousands of software developers inside IBM use Home Page Reader to check for usability and accessibility.

aDesigner is a technology that integrates new patented accessibility testing technologies and existing tools for Web developers. It is particularly effective at checking the degree of color contrast on a page, the ability of users to change the font size and the availability of links in the page to promote navigability. The tool also checks the page's compliance with accessibility guidelines. A handy feature: aDesigner's site-wide feature automatically "crawls" through a Website so that developers can check more than one page at a time. A desktop version is available from, while a more robust site-wide version will be demonstrated at CSUN.

Easy Web Browsing
Easy Web Browsing benefits computer users who have low vision and can use the mouse. Organizations and companies are installing Easy Web Browsing to differentiate their own Web sites and make them more accessible to their members, employees and customers. Seniors and first-time Internet users appreciate its simple user interface.

WebAdapt2Me allows people who have low vision, cognitive or mobility limitations to customize the way Web pages are presented. Users can change the size of the text, increase the line spacing, and convert the text and links to high-contrast colors that are easier to see.

IBM Lotus Notes® and IBM Lotus® Workplace technology
IBM Lotus provides enterprise software solutions for business. The family of products from Lotus exemplifies our commitment to producing accessible software. At CSUN we will demonstrate IBM Lotus products currently under development while using assistive technologies.

In addition to San Francisco State University, IBM is also working with international higher educational institutions including Tokyo Metropolitan and Nagano University in Japan and Bologna University in Italy.

IBM also works with organizations, government agencies, and businesses to install accessible information technology. For more information:


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Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source