The following blog post was written by James Thurston – Director of International Accessibility Policy at Microsoft. James works with Microsoft’s global subsidiaries, NGOs, and governments around the world to develop public policies that support broad digital inclusion.
When I joined Microsoft seven years ago to work on global accessibility policy I thought: ‘Is there even enough activity around the world to keep me busy?’ Policymaking was largely centered in the United States, the European Union, and a small number of other countries.
What a difference seven years makes.
In July, I attended one of my favorite events and it confirmed that accessibility policy is no longer something that happens only in Washington and Brussels. It was the sixth gathering of the 125 countries that signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, where leaders of disability work get together to share their experiences implementing the convention.
What drove this change? At least four factors increased global interest and supported activity in accessibility policy:
After all of the progress, I can’t wait to see what the next seven years brings.