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Japanese Cloud ‘To Improve E-Government Accessibility’

A ‘web accessibility cloud centre’ to help Japanese government departments improve online services to elderly and disabled people is being built by a consortium led by IBM Japan:
http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/32265.wss
Short Link: http://bit.ly/bEpADT

Working with IT solutions firm the KOA Corporation and the Tottori Prefecture Information-Center (TIC: a third sector Japanese company that supports government IT projects), the cloud centre will feature a collaborative system that allows citizens to browse government websites; report any accessibility issues they encounter; and suggest improvements. For example, users with visual impairments will be able to easily record difficulties in understanding text or images.

Each accessibility request will be stored in a bank for later consultation by designers of government website pages, allowing them to address issues raised.

The collaborative aspect of the web accessibility improvement system is based on technology developed in 2008 by the Tokyo arm of IBM Research as part of its Social Accessibility Project examining issues faced by visually impaired internet users (see
http://sa.watson.ibm.com ).

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