Monday, August 18, 2008

IBM and GW Micro Join Steering Committee for Accessibility Interoperability Alliance Expanded Committee Drives Associations Strategic Mission

Way to go GW. Great news!

WAKEFIELD, Mass. — August 4, 2008 — The Accessibility Interoperability Alliance (AIA), a coalition of leading information and assistive technology companies dedicated to enabling developers to more easily create accessible software, hardware and Web products, welcomes the addition of two new steering committee members: Doug Geoffray of GW Micro and Richard Schwerdtfeger of IBM.

The five-member Steering Committee guides the AIA in its mission to improve the lives of people who can benefit from accessibility technologies. The AIA accomplishes this by encouraging the enhancement of current technologies, creating new technologies, and promoting the implementation of APIs and specifications across platforms and the accessibility industry.

"We are very pleased to have Doug and Rich join the AIA leadership team. They both have a pragmatic understanding of the technical and business challenges facing the accessibility industry today, and have a long history of working across boundaries to advance the state of the art in accessibility," said Rob Sinclair, Chair of the Steering Committee and director of the Accessibility Business Unit at Microsoft. "Their technical expertise and long-standing relationships with members of the AIA make them highly valued additions to our Steering Committee. We look forward to working with them in this new capacity."

Richard Schwerdtfeger is a Distinguished Engineer, the IBM Software Group Accessibility Strategist and Architect, Chair of the IBM Accessibility Architecture Review Board, and a Master Inventor. His responsibilities include guiding the overall accessibility architecture and strategy for IBM Software Group and he participates in numerous W3C standards efforts including HTML, WAI Protocols and Formats, and Ubiquitous Web Applications. He chairs the W3C WAI-ARIA subcommittee accessibility effort for Web 2.0 applications as well as OASIS and IMS GLC Access for All accessibility standards efforts.

Doug Geoffray is co-owner of GW Micro, Inc. and leads the software development and product support groups. Geoffray has been developing assistive technology for more than 25 years. He currently oversees a team at GW Micro that focuses mainly on Window-Eyes, a leader in Windows screen readers.

About the Accessibility Interoperability Alliance (AIA)

Initiated by the accessibility industry, the AIA is a group of leading Information Technology (IT) and Assistive Technology (AT) companies, content providers, and other key engineering organizations, working to collaborate on the creation of solutions to long-standing compatibility problems that hinder the development of solutions for people with disabilities. Since its founding in 2007, AIA members have worked together to develop accessible technology for customers with disabilities. Founding members of AIA include Adobe Systems, BayFirst Solutions LLC, Microsoft, Novell Inc., Claro Software Ltd., Dolphin Computer Access, GW Micro, Inc., HiSoftware Inc., Madentec Inc., Texthelp Systems Inc. and QualiLife. More information about the AIA can be found at  


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