Tag Archives: microsoft

Microsoft app that tells the visually impaired what’s in front of them

This free app is helping the visually impaired  

Microsoft is putting its artificial intelligence technology to work to help the visually impaired.

The company said on Wednesday that it’s releasing an iOS app called Seeing AI that uses an iPhone’s camera to tell people about objects in front of them. The app shows off Microsoft’s current capabilities in AI, while also addressing a group that the technology industry too often ignores.

Microsoft first revealed the technology to an audience of developers last year, but at the time it was only shown as working on smart glasses. Now anyone with an iPhone or iPad can try it…

 

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Former Microsoft design director on shaping Hololens, Xbox and Cortana with inclusive design thinking

Kat Holmes is the former principal director of Inclusive Design at Microsoft. In this episode, we talk about the definition of inclusive design, take an inside look at her “special ops” design unit, and dive into the best method for deploying human-centered design.

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Read full article at Source: Former Microsoft design director on shaping Hololens, Xbox and Cortana with inclusive design thinking | TechCrunch

Accessibility in Office 365—enabling greater digital inclusion – Office Blogs

The 2016 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), focuses on laying the foundation for a future of greater inclusion for persons with disabilities. In honor of IDPD, we invite all Office 365 customers to lay the foundation for a more inclusive digital environment by discovering and using accessibility capabilities built into Office 365.

Create accessible content with Office 365

Office 365 empowers you to communicate information to your colleagues and customers in a variety of ways: documents, presentations, spreadsheets, emails, chats, sways, notes, videos and more. As you communicate, it is important to meet the diverse needs of your audience. Making your content accessible ensures it can be used without barriers by people with varying levels of vision, hearing, cognition and mobility.

Q. How can I get help with accessibility issues?A. Visit the Office Accessibility Center to find support articles on creating accessible content with Office 365 applications on various platforms or on using Office 365 applications with specific assistive technologies. If you require further assistance, reach out to an accessibility specialist via the Enterprise Disability Answer Desk or Consumer Disability Answer Desk.

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Read full article at Source: Accessibility in Office 365—enabling greater digital inclusion – Office Blogs

Windows 10 upgrade for assistive technology users

For the general public, the free upgrade offer to Windows 10 ends on 29 July. However, if you use assistive technologies, you can still get the free upgrade offer even after the general public deadline expires, as Microsoft continues our efforts to improve the Windows 10 experience for people who use these technologies.

With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, we’ve taken a number of steps to improve the accessibility of Windows 10 accessibility. To learn more, read our blog that details some of these improve

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Read full article at Source: Windows 10 upgrade for assistive technology users

Microsoft Tackles Office Mobile Accessibility, Adds Excel Toolset

Microsoft announces upcoming accessibility enhancements for Office 365 Android and iOS apps and adds several new data transformation options to Excel.

Building on Office’s existing accessibility options for visually impaired users, Microsoft revealed that it plans to add new capabilities.”

I am excited to announce that Office 365 teams are not only working on enhancing the usability of VoiceOver with Office 365 iOS apps and Narrator with Windows 10 Mobile apps, but also the usability of TalkBack with Office 365 Android apps,” stated John Jendrezak, accessibility lead and partner director of program management for the Microsoft Office Engineering group, in a recent blog post.

VoiceOver and TalkBack are text-to-speech technologies that help users navigate their software audibly.

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Read full article at Source: Microsoft Tackles Office Mobile Accessibility, Adds Excel Toolset

Accessibility Update for Windows 10 Mail – Microsoft Accessibility Blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs

Narrator, the screen reader built into Windows 10, currently provides the most complete experience when using Mail. We are working closely with the Microsoft UI Automation (UIA) team to continue improving both Mail and the platform. We know that many of you are using other screen readers, and we are also working with the developers of other screen readers and assistive technology vendors to improve the Mail experience here as well.

Recent Improvements

We are excited about the flexibility you have to update Mail frequently via the Microsoft Store. Since the initial release of Windows 10 last summer, we have made many improvements to the accessibility of the Mail app. Here are some of the updates we have made since we first shipped:

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Read full article at Source: Accessibility Update for Windows 10 Mail – Microsoft Accessibility Blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs

Talk to the hand!

“However, all that may change. If you believe the doctors, I will lose my speech at some point, although they have been saying that for 20 years, and there will be other jobs that push and challenge me. My commitment is to face those brick wall moments head on and climb the bloody wall rather than trying to resign.

”Even in her difficult moment, Furness saw in his young employee many of the qualities that Lay-Flurrie’s managers and colleagues at Microsoft would later recognize – a “dynamic leader, a natural storyteller, an advocate for customers” and someone who is “competitive, courageous, grounded by purpose, and able to put people at ease and enlist hearts and minds.

”Lay-Flurrie is now senior director for accessibility, online safety and privacy at Microsoft.

With her Union Jack wristwatch and her “Keep Calm and Carry On” office decorations, she’s also a bit of a one-woman British embassy at the company’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters. Lay-Flurrie regularly incorporates phrases like “that’s pants” (British for “no good”) into conversation, which flows like the afternoon tea at The Ritz London because she’s also a gold-medal lip reader with perfect speech.

“The bee’s knees, taking the mickey out of people – my colleagues call them Jenny-isms, but I told them ‘That’s just boggins! They’re British-isms!’

“It took me a long time to figure out my disability is a strength. We are born problem solvers, loyal, and driven. I wouldn’t change my journey for the world – it’s made me who I am – but there is a smarter way to do this,” Lay-Flurrie says.

“There is so much that I can do to help others personally and in my role at Microsoft. There are a billion people with disabilities in the world. We’ve got to get it right for them.”

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Read full article at Source: Talk to the hand!

Accessibility in Office 365—progress in 2015 and plans for 2016 – Office Blogs

Our goals are to ensure that:

People with disabilities can communicate, consume and create content on any device.

Everyone can easily create content that is accessible for all people.

We have a strong track record of compliance with accessibility standards for our productivity applications on PCs and for our communication applications, including Section 508 Procurement Requirements. By the end of 2016, we want to extend this to all Office 365 applications on all platforms and are also committed to ensuring we meet more modern accessibility standards, including WCAG 2.0, Level AA Success Criteria and European Standard on accessibility for public procurement of ICT (EN 301 549).That said, we know that compliance with accessibility standards does not guarantee ease of use. This is why the Office 365 team is not only using data from accessibility conformance tests, but also conducting usability studies with people who have vision, mobility, hearing, learning and literacy impairments to make our products more usable and to allow every person to achieve more.

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Read full article at Source: Accessibility in Office 365—progress in 2015 and plans for 2016 – Office Blogs

Creating incentives for digital inclusion: Microsoft announces support for G3ict charter for accessible technology – Microsoft on the Issues

[In December, 2015], Microsoft announced our support for the newly announced Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) charter, Promoting Global Digital Inclusion through ICT Procurement Policies & Accessibility Standards.

The charter calls on governments worldwide to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities by demanding only accessible technology from their suppliers. We are proud to join the other signatories, which include some of the most forward-thinking governments and advocacy groups around the world like the European Disability Forum, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network and Disabled People’s International, and we encourage other companies to consider joining the charter.

Our mission at Microsoft is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. This means developing innovative technology that is accessible to everyone – regardless of age or ability. It is clear to us that information technology needs to be a tool that empowers and enables people with disabilities to do more.

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Read full article at Source: Creating incentives for digital inclusion: Microsoft announces support for G3ict charter for accessible technology – Microsoft on the Issues

Microsoft, American Council of the Blind partner to advance accessibility | News Center

REDMOND, Wash and ARLINGTON, Va – Dec. 17, 2015 – Microsoft Corp. and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) on Thursday announced they will partner on efforts to advance the accessibility of information technologies. Through the partnership, the ACB and Microsoft will work together to enable planned updates to various Microsoft products to better meet the needs of persons with visual impairments.

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Read full article at Source: Microsoft, American Council of the Blind partner to advance accessibility | News Center