Microsoft Accessibility Technology for EveryoneOkay, I admit it… I had no real idea going in to a conversation today what the CSUN conference was. It turns out that I am referring to the Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference. The road to it is another question…

The team (Trustworthy Computing) that I sit in includes a range of different areas, from Security, Privacy and Reliability, to Online Safety, Accessibility and more. Today I attended a session by the Accessibility team that opened my eyes…

Accessibility for me became an area of interest when a number of years ago my Grandfather’s eyesight started failing. At the time technology was limited and access to that technology even more so ( I am among other things Zimbabwean, need I say more). As an engineer, he had been heavily reliant on technology and his ability to use it and when he could no longer do simple things like send an email because he couldn’t see the letters on the keyboard, he became increasingly frustrated.

Fast forward to just over 18 months ago when my father was going through the same thing. The amazing thing was that technology had moved on so much and all I really had to do was install Windows 7 and the vast majority of what we needed was right there, built in to the operating system…

Some of the Accessibility features in Windows 7

  • Windows Speech Recognition
  • Magnifier
  • On-Screen Keyboard
  • Narrator and visual notifications

Click play below the video to watch (don’t forget full screen), or directly here.

Back to the Road to CSUN…

As it happens the Accessibility team recently went down to the CSUN conference in San Diego, California. They drove down from the Microsoft campus here in Redmond, Washington, making stops along the way. Their journey is both entertaining and informative. If you do nothing else today (or this week), I would encourage you to go to their blog and read about their journey. If you just want the quick fix, here are the link to their videos:

Enjoy!