Coinciding with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, promoted by UNESCO, Microsoft wants to warn of the need to take new steps forward in order, through technology, to provide society with digital tools promoting inclusion in all social environments.
Under the slogan “Rebuilding better: towards an inclusive, accessible and sustainable world after COVID-19 by, for and with people with disabilities”, the UN highlights how the effects of the pandemic have a particular impact on this profile of professionals, in the social inclusion gap. Indeed, according to data provided by the ADECCO Foundation, the hiring of professionals with disabilities has decreased by 29% this year.
Promote full accessibility
According to WHO data, there are currently over 1,000 million people with some type of disability. Microsoft is committed to designing all of its products and services with accessibility at the source in mind. Be governed by three fundamental principles: transparency, inclusion and accountability. As part of this culture, the company provides people and organizations with resources such as the following:
Accessibility features in Windows 10, Office, and Xbox, which continue to expand with each new update, and make it easier to interact and access content according to each person’s specific needs. In a year of work and distance learning they were imposed all over the world. Microsoft Teams accessibility support has enabled millions of people to have more inclusive meetings, such as the integration of live captions on screen. Accessibility Checker in Microsoft 365, which provides access to information for everyone Accessibility resources to create more inclusive work environments for employers and job seekers with disabilities AI for Accessibility, a global program of 25 million dollars aimed at harnessing the power of AI to amplify the capacity of millions of people around the world Incorporation in Microsoft Learn – a free online training platform – of specific courses on accessibility and inclusion.
The words of Microsoft Spain
“It is necessary to know the limits of each person to understand what their needs are. And, thus, provide you with the tools and resources necessary to be able to carry out the desired task. In this sense, technology has a lot to say, ”says Sandra Timón, Microsoft Accessibility Expert in Spain. “Microsoft’s mission is to empower everyone. This also includes people with disabilities, with products and services that benefit from the latest technological advances. Like Artificial Intelligence, in order to amplify human capacities ”.
Reinventing a more inclusive Spain
As part of this path to improve accessibility, Microsoft Spain has been collaborating with ONCE and Fundación ONCE for more than 20 years. By promoting universal accessibility through initiatives for the dissemination and development of accessible technologies. Guarantee the accessibility of technology, reduce the digital divide in classrooms and promote the employability of people with disabilities.
This collaboration has also led to new solutions such as the adaptation to Spanish of Seeing AI. A free application that makes it easier for blind people to recognize and describe their surroundings. And also to the development of guidance solutions such as Soundscape, applied to the accessible Camino de Santiago project.