Dr. Chieko Asakawa
IBM Fellow, IBM Research
IBM Distinguished Service Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
Chieko Asakawa has been instrumental in furthering accessibility research and development for three decades. By challenging traditional thinking on how the visually impaired use technology, she has explored solutions to improve Web accessibility and usability for the visually impaired and others with special needs. Series of pioneering technologies generated under Chieko's leadership significantly contributed in advancing Web accessibility, including groundbreaking work in digital Braille and voice browser. Today, Chieko is focusing on advancing cognitive assistant research to help the blind regain information by augmenting missing or weakened abilities in the real world.
She is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Information Processing Society of Japan, and IBM Academy of Technology. She was inducted into the Women in Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame in 2003. Chieko was appointed to IBM Fellow in 2009, IBM's most prestigious technical honor. In 2013, the government of Japan awarded the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon to Chieko for her outstanding contributions to accessibility research, including the development of the voice browser for the visually impaired.