IBM: Aging equals opportunity

An aging government work force will spur a huge market for software and applications that help people with disabilities use computers and other information technologies, according to Jani Byrne, director of IBM Corp.'s worldwide accessibility business unit.

IBM of Armonk, N.Y., predicts that by 2005 the worldwide government market for accessibility tools and services will reach $109 billion, Byrne said.

Although Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is already generating some business for IBM, the company sees a far greater potential market in equipping agencies for their aging work forces.

Thanks to a graying baby boomer population, as well as a dearth of younger replacements, agencies will come to rely on aging workers who may suffer from fading eyesight, encroaching deafness and thought capacities diminished by strokes.


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