Jim Thatcher received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1963, one of the first Ph.D.s in computer science. Together with his thesis advisor, Dr. Jesse Wright, Jim then joined the Mathematical Sciences Department of IBM Research in New York. His research was in the area of mathematical computer science, automata theory, and data abstraction. Jim began moving away from the abstract and toward the practical when he and Dr. Wright, who is blind, began working on access to the personal computer for people who are blind. He developed one of the first screen readers for DOS which, in 1986, became IBM Screen Reader (and the phrase later became generic). After that, he led the development of IBM Screen Reader/2 for OS/2, which was the first screen reader for the graphical user interface on the PC (1991). In 1996, Jim left his research post to join the IBM Accessibility Center (formerly IBM Special Needs Systems which produced Screen Reader, Home page Reader and other assistive technology) in Austin, Texas. He served as vice-chair of the Electronic and Information Technology Access Advisory Committee (EITAAC) which was impaneled by the Access Board to propose standards for Section 508; he chaired the sub-committee on software standards. Jim led the effort to establish the IBM accessibility guidelines specifically for use by IBM's development community. He wrote the course on web accessibility for Section 508 for ITTATC, the Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center, which was funded to support Section 508.
Jim Thatcher's Books
Constructing Accessible Web Sites
- Publication Date: July 10, 2003
- ISBN13: 978-1-59059-148-2
Accessibility is about making websites that don't exclude people with visual, aural, or physical disabilities. Through real-world examples, this practical book will teach you how to create or retrofit accessible websites quickly and easily. Learn More …