Blind Japanese woman receives IBM's top award

Jun 05, 2009
US computer giant IBM's Japanese researcher Chieko Asakawa in Tokyo, 2003. IBM has named Asakawa as the first blind engineer -- as well as the first Japanese female -- to receive the company's highest technical honour.

US computer giant IBM has named Chieko Asakawa as the first blind engineer -- as well as the first Japanese female -- to receive the company's highest technical honour.

Asakawa, 50, was named this week as one of eight Japanese to win the title of IMB Fellow for her achievements in making the Internet widely accessible for visually impaired people.

It is the company's most prestigious honour for an , a title given to only 218 technicians in the company's more than century-long history.

"Asakawa's crucial contributions in the area of accessibility technology have enabled IBM to become a worldwide leader in the field," the US-based company said in a statement.

"She has helped to establish awareness, both within and outside , while leading the creation of technologies that have changed the way disabled individuals communicate and interact."

Asakawa developed accessibility software called the "Homepage Reader" which reads aloud words that appear on an Internet window and is now available in 11 languages including English and Japanese.

"I am very happy about the nomination," Asakawa said in a statement. "I will continue working hard towards an even more accessible society."

Asakawa, who lost her vision as a teenager, joined the in 1985 and has since worked to increase computer accessibility not only for the disabled but also for the elderly and novices.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

IBM Research Delivers New Technology to Web Developers

Jul 25, 2004

Emerging tool helps to ensure accessibility and usability for the visually disabled IBM announced it is previewing a new tool called aDesigner, which helps developers ensure that Web pages are accessible an ...

Recommended for you

It's down to the wire for online shopping

31 minutes ago

As the holiday shopping season winds down, FedEx, UPS and online retailers are using the last few days to try to avoid the problems that occurred last year when severe winter weather and a surge in late orders ...

China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

Dec 21, 2014

China's top smartphone seller Xiaomi Corp. is raising more than $1 billion in a fresh round of funding, a move which would raise its valuation above $45 billion, a report said Sunday.

Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

Dec 20, 2014

Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. It wasn't about hacking. It was about the company's struggling tablet business.

Sony faces 4th ex-employee lawsuit over hack

Dec 20, 2014

A former director of technology for Sony Pictures Entertainment has sued the company over the data breach that resulted in the online posting of his private financial and personal information.

Sony tells AFP it still plans movie release

Dec 20, 2014

Sony Pictures boss Michael Lynton denied Friday the Hollywood studio has "caved" by canceling the release of "The Interview," and said it still hoped to release the controversial film.

2012 movie massacre hung over 'Interview' decision

Dec 19, 2014

When a group claiming credit for the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment threated violence against theaters showing "The Interview" earlier this week, the fate of the movie's big-screen life was all but ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

iknow
not rated yet Jun 05, 2009
Why the bloody hell did you have to use this page about a great achievement by a disabled person to be a IBM yourself - International Bloody Moron.

Great work Asakawa!!!
finitesolutions
not rated yet Jun 06, 2009
Do not buy IBM crap!
2600merc
5 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2009
I work for IBM. They can not supply coffee, tea or milk. But can hold award parties. What did they do with all that profit?
nxtr
5 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2009
Hey kids lets bash IBM somewhere else. This is about honoring a woman who has helped make the internet a better place for the visually impaired. The level of maturity of engineers is abysmal sometimes.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.