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Googler Spotlight: T.V. Raman

We sat down with Google Research Scientist T.V. Raman to learn about the company’s efforts on improving user accessibility.

Could you tell us a little bit about your accessibility work at Google?

I joined Google Research as an individual contributor in 2005, and transitioned in 2009 to lead a small team of hand-picked engineers working on Android and Chrome accessibility. My team focuses primarily on blindness and low-vision issues. Our goal is to build eyes-free interfaces that are a pleasure to use with a strong focus on enabling rapid task completion.

What is Google's role in impacting the overall accessibility experience on modern platforms such as the Web and mobile?

The web is our platform, and we help users access the web cloud through Chrome and Android. As we race to evolve these modern platforms to match up and surpass traditional platforms, we also own the responsibility of ensuring that our new creations match and surpass existing systems with respect to accessibility.

Building and delivering sophisticated applications via the cloud has enormous potential with respect to solving the core accessibility challenge, which is to deeply understand the needs and abilities of every user, and to then deliver application user interfaces that are perfectly matched to a given user's needs and abilities at any given time.

Toward this end, we are focused on:
1. Delivering the best-of-breed accessibility via our mobile Android platform.
2. Delivering cloud-based accessibility that goes well beyond the one-size-fits-all model that had to be adopted in the previous era of desktop computing.

You've been at Google since 2005. How has life at Google changed since then?

I described life at Google during my first year as being like graduate school, but with more money and better food. Gladly, that has not changed — the energy level among Googlers that I see has remained at the same high-level — even as our number of high-quality cafeterias has increased. Six years later, Google is a much bigger company, and it is not as easy to ferret out the right Googler to go learn about a given ongoing Google innovation. But gladly, serendipitous lunchtime conversations that hold the potential of making real magic happen continue, despite our burgeoning size.

You can visit http://www.google.com/accessibility/ to learn more about the work done by T.V. and his team.
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3 comments
 
Great to see this important work featured! =]
 
TV Raman's work is awesome and useful at the same time!
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