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The desire to make information technologies accessible to diverse user populations has given rise to the burgeoning fields of universal access and design. The goal of accessible design is to develop technologies that are usable by the broadest possible spectrum of users. Mandated in some cases by government regulations, systems and applications that are accessible have become both economic and societal priorities. While emphasis and attention to accessible design is on the increase, fully accessible information technology remains a goal, not a current state. This special issue of the IBM Systems Journal on accessibility presents one snapshot of work in these areas. The papers in this issue include theoretical explorations on the topic of accessibility along with practical solutions and recommendations about how to advance the state of the art.
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