Microsoft is committed to delivering inclusive experiences. As CEO Satya Nadella recently wrote, we are proactively taking steps and implementing a strategy to ensure we make progress on this goal across the company.
Part of this commitment involves enhancing the accessibility of our services and increasing the transparency about our progress. Today, we want to share how we’re improving Mail for Windows 10 to enhance usability with screen readers. We welcome your feedback as we continue this work throughout the year.
On Friday January 8, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences held the 67th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards in Las Vegas. These awards “honor development and innovation in broadcast technology and recognize… developments and/or standardization involved in engineering technologies which either represent so extensive an improvement on existing methods or are so innovative in nature that they materially have affected the transmission, recording, or reception of television.” Two of the honorees, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), were recognized for their pioneering development of industry standards enabling closed captions on Internet video.
Today’s classrooms include students with a wide range of abilities. Educators are expected to adapt content to meet the needs of each of their students, including students with learning differences. While technology can be an enabler to learning, for some, technology is a challenge. Many educators lose valuable instructional time discovering, justifying, deploying and maintaining assistive technology for students with learning differences. To help address these challenges, we’re introducing Learning Tools for OneNote.
At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. This mission connects in fundamental ways with how we as a company operate, how we design and develop technology and how we work with others to serve people with disabilities. We are committed to delivering great experiences to people with disabilities, and as President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith noted earlier this month, this will require us to raise our ambition.
Way back in August, well before Team Prognosis spent a week on Microsoft campus getting a crash course in business, they had applied for the prestigious Horizon 2020 grant with the European Commission. In November, they received the good news that their proposal had been accepted and they would be getting €4M!
Dimitris Iakovakis, Vicky Bikia, Despina Efthymiadou and Konstantinos Mavrodis have returned to Greece after a whirlwind week at Ability Bootcamp, their prize for winning the Imagine Cup Ability Award. Though they may no longer be absorbing all things Microsoft in person, they know they’ll be slowly taking in everything for a very long time.
Day three of an action-packed Ability Bootcamp should have produced four haggard student developers. But when we met up with Team Prognosis to recap their day, they were very excited, hyper even. And not just from all the Halloween candy they ate. Something major, something totally life changing had happened that day.
The second day of the Ability Bootcamp was a busy one for Team Prognosis of Greece. Dimitris, Vicky, Despina and Konstantinos spent the day with Microsoft experts in legal, marketing, public relations and business development.
This is not Despina Efthymiadou, Dimitris Iakovakis, Konstantinos Mavrodis and Vicky Bikia’s first trip to Seattle. Just a few months ago, they competed at the Imagine Cup World Finals and took home third place in the World Citizenship category. Team Prognosis also won the Microsoft Ability Award, given to the team who best demonstrated innovation with the potential to drive a more accessible and inclusive workplace and world. The prize for this award was a trip back to Microsoft campus for a custom-made, five-day Ability Bootcamp.
Today IBM and Microsoft are announcing a solution through IBM Kenexa Assess on Cloud that will allow customers who are blind or visually impaired to assess a person's ability to use Microsoft Office through simulation technology.