We are thrilled to have been included in last week's Microsoft Accessibility Summit. Mary-Rose Daigle, Senior Director of Information Technology and Mark Nicol, Adaptive Technology Specialist for Vancouver Island were in attendance at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, Washington along with delegates from several other World Blind Union member organizations. The group met with Microsoft teams who work on accessibility for all of the company's major products ranging from Office 365 to Windows 10 to the new Edge browser and in every case the teams' commitment to their cause was palpable and contagious. This is a notably large group of engineers devoted specifically to the cause and the sheer number alone suggests that accessibility is a high priority for Microsoft.
As part of their commitment to accessibility, Microsoft has developed several new avenues for its customers to receive help or give feedback on access issues:
Call the Disability Answer Desk at 1.800.936.5900 to get live support for Microsoft products and accessibility features.
More adventurous Windows 10 users can register for the Windows Insider Program. Insiders will receive the latest Windows 10 builds ahead of the general populous and can provide feedback on this ever evolving operating system.
Narrator, the screen reading software built in to Windows 10, now has a direct feedback tool. With Narrator running, press caps lock+E twice to send negative feedback or press shift+caps lock+E to send positive feedback.
Lastly, we were most impressed with Microsoft's inclusive hiring practice. Bravo to them for creating a vibrant workplace where everyone has an opportunity to contribute and flourish.