Accessible innovation for all

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Microsoft #TechTalk: Accessible innovation

Technology can open up a wide range of opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate fully in the world around them: from enabling inclusive education and employment, to making workplaces more accessible.

In this latest edition of #TechTalk, Jeff Petty, Head of Windows Accessibility engineering, sits down with Microsoft’s Senior Technology Evangelist, Hector Minto, to discuss how by designing technology with accessibility in mind, Microsoft is opening up new possibilities for everyone.

Some of history’s greatest inventions, from typewriters to smartphone touch screens, were designed by or for people with disabilities, before they were ever adopted more widely across society. This is the benefit of inclusive design. Levelling the playing field in technology is at the heart of Microsoft’s approach to accessibility. The goal is to make computing possible for some people and easier to use for everyone.

For example, when Jeff’s team developed a solution allowing on-screen text to be easily scaled by anyone with a visual impairment, they then extended the same feature to everyone – a feature that has proved very popular.

Jeff notes the importance of integrating user feedback into the development of real solutions for real customers. This has helped to shorten Microsoft’s innovation cycle, meaning new products and improvements can be brought to market in as little as six months. But in order to strike a balance between innovation and regulation, while meeting the needs of vulnerable groups, Jeff stressed the importance of outcome-focused regulation that gives technology companies the flexibility to try new things and solve challenges in different ways.

Find out more about Jeff Petty’s views by watching the full #TechTalk here:

YouTube Video

 

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