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NCDAE: The National Center on Disability and Access to Education

Increasing universal access by
developing educational resources

NCDAE Webcast - Research and Development of Accessible Technologies


The archives below are from a Webcast held Wednesday, December 1, 2004 titled, "Research and Development of Accessible Technologies". The webcast included presentations from national leaders in this area and focused on research and development processes for accessible technologies, including the motivations for developing accessible products, the costs of including accessibility features, and the marketplace for accessible technologies. The one hour webcast can be accessed free of charge. You listen to the archives using either Windows Media Player or Quicktime.


The archives for the audio broadcast from Wed, October 26, 2004, entitled Research and Development of Accessible Technologies are available below.

Windows Media Player



Download Media Players: Windows Media Player with link to download page. Quicktime 5 with link to Quicktime download page.


Sara Basson - IBM Global Services

Sara Basson currently works in IBM Global Services, where she is driving accessibility opportunities. Her roles include creating accessibility-relevant assets, identifying suitable offerings and customer targets, and establishing processes to evaluate the impact of accessibility incorporation. She has previous experience as a marketing and business development manager in the accessibility arena, as well as designing and marketing speech technology and accessibility services. Sara has held a number of roles in the area of speech technologies, from business development to basic research, at IBM Research and previously at NYNEX Science and Technology (now Verizon). She has engaged in speech technology development, assessment, and application deployment. She has conducted a number of feasibility studies for speech recognition and natural language understanding technologies, as well as experiments assessing speech synthesis intelligibility and viability. Sara has more than 50 articles published on topics in speech technology and accessibility. Sara holds an M.B.A. in Management/Marketing from Stern School of Business, New York University, and a Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She was recently granted an Honorary Doctorate degree from St. Maryís University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in recognition of her extensive activities using speech technologies to enhance accessibility in the educational arena. Sara is on the Board of Directors of AVIOS, a speech technology applications professional organization, and she serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Speech Technology. She also serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Meals on Wheels of White Plains.

Tom Wlodkowski - Director of Accessibility at America Online, Inc.

Thomas Wlodkowski is Director of Accessibility at America Online, Inc. In this role, he drives employee awareness of issues that prevent full access to the Internet and the development and implementation of requirements and technological solutions to enhance the accessibility of AOL products and services to people with disabilities. He also manages the company's Accessibility Advisory committee, a cross-disability group of advocacy leaders who provide advice and strategic counsel on a range of technology and policy issues. Prior to joining AOL in May 2002, he was project director at the CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media, where he managed a wide scope of projects including designing accessible user interfaces for Web and desktop applications, designing the first talking menus for DVDs, authoring guidelines for designing accessible mainstream software applications, and consulting on access technology to corporations.

Jared Smith - WebAIM (Web Accessibility In Mind) and the National Center on Disability and Access to Education

Jared Smith is an instructional designer, Web developer, and accessibility trainer for WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind), a project at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. He also administers tool development and technology projects for the National Center on Disability and Access to Education. He specializes in training Web developers, IT professionals, and educators in Web accessibility principles and techniques. He has developed accessible course content, Web multimedia, distance education tools, and database-driven Web sites. Besides providing accessibility training as part of the WebAIM team, he also teaches courses in Macromedia Flash and multimedia development in the Instructional Technology Dept. at Utah State University. He has written a broad range of documents, tutorials, articles, and other materials, many of which are featured on the WebAIM site ( He is currently developing a Web captioning application for delivering real-time text captions for the Deaf and hard of hearing.

The discussion will be moderated by Cyndi Rowland of the National Center on Disability and Access to Education