Science Alumni Spotlight: Sara Basson
The career of Speech Scientist Dr. Sara Basson does the Program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences proud. She currently holds a position created for her at Google: Accessibility Evangelist. She is responsible for creating programs and technical applications to improve access for users with disabilities across the company (in technology, product development, and human resources). Prior to this, over the course of her 17 years at IBM, during a one year stint in New Delhi she was driving access to internet-like information over mobile phones for lower income and illiterate populations in India. In addition, she led IBM Research participation in the Liberated Learning consortium[eprints.soton.ac.uk] with more than 20 universities worldwide to assess speech recognition for captioning university lectures. She also led the IBM Research effort to develop ViaScribe, a tool that enabled easy transcription, editing, and display of lecture information. Additional Liberated Learning activities included speech recognition to create accessible museum tours; piloted at the Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Nova Scotia.
Dr. Basson received an Honorary Doctorate from Saint Mary’s University in 2003, in recognition of these activities.