Blind Japanese woman receives IBM's top award


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 honor.

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

It is IBM's most prestigious honor for an engineer, 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 company said in a statement. "She has helped to establish awareness, both within and outside IBM, 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 toward an even more accessible society."

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

© Wire reports

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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A worthy recipient indeed.

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CONGRATULATIONS !!! Chieko Asakawa what a great achievement another way to help the blind who can now enjoy being on the Internet - IBM is truly a great institution which brought so many benefits to mankind all with the new inventions and dedicated and hard work put in by their team of creative engineers like the great Japanese blind engineer and IBM Fellow, Chieko Asakawa - Well done Chieko, very well done indeed - Farakh Malik

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At last, a local who is actually doing something to help this world. Makes a change to those useless, waste of space tarentos.

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I think there's a typo in the award name: IMB Fellow?

Moderator: It has been corrected.

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