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IBM launched an application that seeks to harness the power and time of Internet users around the globe to make the Web more accessible to the visually impaired.
Screen readers rely on text or descriptive tags to explain the items on a page but these are often added as an after thought or are incomplete. Using the new IBM software users can report these problems to a central database and ask for additional descriptive text to be added to a site. Other Internet users that want to contribute can then check the database, select one of the submitted problems and "start fixing it" by added text labels. The additional information isn't incorporated into the original site's HTML code but into a metadata file that is loaded each time a visually impaired user subsequently visits the site.
This is an interesting new approach harnessing the collaborative approach offered by end-user input. The application allows for metadata to be "attached" to third-party websites. There is a Firefox extension or the service can be used by Jaws/IE users.
Project details here: [services.alphaworks.ibm.com...]