IBM previews aDesigner

As part of their business initiative to provide technology that goes beyond basic compliance, IBM Corp. officials recently introduced new software to ensure that Web pages will be accessible to users who have poor vision.

The new program, aDesigner, simulates the perspectives of users with low vision and those who are blind to give Web developers a clear idea of what changes need to be made for compliance with disability regulations and general usability. The software helps developers determine if a Web site is compliant with all current accessibility guidelines by offering guidance on how to fix problems.

The software offers solutions to problems that go beyond what is covered under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, including a component that tests how long it takes to reach each element of the site using voice browsers. It also offers the ability to detect problematic Web elements for users with vision disabilities based on image-processing techniques.

The innovation "ensures that all individuals aged or disabled can successfully work side-by-side," said Marc Goubert, manager of IBM alphaWorks and developer relations.

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