Shari Trewin  Shari Trewin photo         

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IBM Accessibility Manager and Research Lead
Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown, NY, USA


Professional Associations

Professional Associations:  ACM  |  ACM SIGACCESS  |  ACM SIGCHI

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More information:  IBM Accessibility


I manage the IBM Accessibility Leadership team, chair ACM's Special Interest Group on Accessible Computing (SIGACCESS), am an ACM Distinguished Scientist, and a member of ACM's Diversity and Inclusion Council. My research interests lie in accessibility, usability and artificial intelligence technologies.  Recently I've been working on the IBM Equal Access Accessibility Toolkit and Accessibility Checker Tools, AI Fairness for People with Disabilities, automation of accessibility test and repair, better prioritization of accessibility isses found by tools, enhancing automated captions, and an accessibility ontology for industry.

Most of us will experience age-related changes in our abilities as we get older. Most of us will experience sensory, physical or cognitive impairment at some time. Whether permanent or temporary, this is a normal part of human experience that technology can and should accommodate. Within the accessibility research community, aside from working with SIGACCESS to run the ASSETS Conference series and develop resources for the research community, I serve(d) as accessibility co-chair for the CHI 2020 and CHI 2021 conferences, and served 8 years as Associate Editor of the journal, ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing. My research work has explored tools, interfaces and techniques that accommodate human abilities and disabilities. I also served as general chair of ASSETS 2009: The 11th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility. A while back I co-edited a series of five American National Standards on remote control of devices through generated user interfaces. I also contributed to the NIDILRR-funded 'Profile Creation Support for Cloud-Based Accessibility' project.

Aside from accessibility, I have also contributed to cognitive solutions in the knowledge induction and reasoning space, including semantic concept discovery over event databases. Other past projects include cognitive environmentsusable multi-factor authentication on mobile devices, and exploration of mobile touchscreen gestures.

My background is in artificial intelligence and computer science, including intelligent tutoring systems and parallel programming. My Ph.D. research at the University of Edinburgh examined typing and mouse errors of people with motor impairments, and self-configuring keyboards. This work won the best student paper award at the ASSETS 1998 conference and formed the basis of IBM's Keyboard Optimizer tool for keyboard configuration support.

A native of Scotland, I enjoy windswept mountains, working with horses, riding my bike, and (vegan) chocolate.