Archive of Past Feature Articles
- 2012 Feature Articles
- 2011 Feature Articles
- 2010 Feature Articles
- 2009 Feature Articles
- 2008 Feature Articles
- 2007 Feature Articles
- 2006 Feature Articles
Adapting Kinect for Physical Therapy
A Kinect-based system could help combat veterans perform physical therapy at home.
Adapting EDF and Microsoft Team Up to Enhance Accessibility
Microsoft and European Disability Forum reaffirmed the common objective that the web and digital environment must be made accessible to all.
Most organizations view accessibility as an important strategic consideration while citing a lack of resources as a main factor in it not playing an even bigger role.
Top Seven Accessibility Tips
Viewers of this 6-minute video will quickly learn how to access features in Windows 7, Office 2010, and Internet Explorer that can help them make their computer easier to see, hear, and use.
Making Technology Safer & Easier for Aging Baby Boomers
Bonnie Kearney highlights Microsoft's commitment to addressing accessibility issues that accompany the "Silver Tsunami" (an increase in the average age of the population worldwide).
Week of September 17: Accessibility in Education
Throughout 2012, Anthony Salcito has posted stories of global heroes in education on his Daily Edventures blog. The week focused on people who are making education more accessible for students with learning challenges. To get inspired about ways you can personalize technology to prepare students for learning, read the week's posts:
September 21: Students create inclusive games and planetarium tour
September 20: Shannon Putman creates a Kinect for Xbox game
September 19: Mexico Imagine Cup team creates an ADD treatment
September 18: Philippines Imagine Cup team creates KidCAMP
September 17: Robin Lowell teaches math with Microsoft Lync
Global Accessibility: NCPEDP Recognizes Microsoft India
The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) honored Microsoft India for partnering on initiatives that help extend the use of technology to persons with disabilities.
Microsoft Announces Imagine Cup 2012 Winners
Team quadSquad from the Ukraine took top honors in the Software Design Competition with its device, Enable Talk, which uses a pair of gloves equipped with 15 flex sensors and a microcontroller that continuously recognize sign language patterns, which are then transmitted via Bluetooth to a Windows Phone device that uses the Microsoft Speech API and Bing API to translate the signs into audio. This year, twenty-three percent of Imagine Cup projects were created to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities such as visual and hearing impairments and diseases that limit a human's physical mobility. Find more accessibility projects in the theme "promotion of accessibility and universal design for all".
Technology ‘Saved My Life’: Making Life Better for Boomers, Seniors
From improving fitness and aging in place to ending isolation and engaging more easily with family and friends, technology solutions help aging computer users and seniors successfully address many of the issues associated with aging.
Microsoft, Dell Empower Students with Accessible Technology and Training
Through Dell's Assistive Technology Service, schools receive training including accessibility resources that illustrate how to use accessibility features in Windows and Office and how to create accessible teaching materials and talking textbooks.
Delivering Success Through Technology for Students with Disabilities
With creative use of technology, educators are finding new ways to break down barriers and positively impact learning for all their students equally—including students with learning style differences and disabilities.
Using Kinect in Special Ed Classrooms: Advice from Loudoun County, Virginia teachers
We continue to hear inspiring stories every day about how teachers are using Kinect for Xbox 360 to bring learning to life in the classroom. Read about how special education teachers at Steuart Weller Elementary School in Loudoun County, Virginia are using the Kinect with their special needs students.
Microsoft Public-Private Partnership Helps Seniors Get Healthy and Have Fun
Los Angeles seniors are achieving and maintaining a more active lifestyle, improving their general health, and more safely managing their health data, thanks to a public-private partnership that includes Microsoft, the City of Los Angeles, the Partners in Care Foundation, and St. Barnabas Senior Services. See also news release.
Exergamers Wellness Club Uses Kinect and HealthVault to Enhance Well-being of Seniors
Los Angeles seniors in Exergamers Wellness Club report health benefits and increased happiness as a result of an innovative public-private partnership using Kinect interactive gaming and health-monitoring tools from Microsoft. See also news release.
"We want to learn"—Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day—Colombia
March 21 marks World Down Syndrome Day. Children and adults with Down syndrome may have some developmental delays, but they also have many talents and must be given the chance to develop them. Read this blog by Luz Garcia de Galindo, CEO of the Down Syndrome Foundation, Bogota, Columbia.
For Students with Disabilities, Personalized Technology is Great Equalizer—Qatar
David Banes, CEO of Mada, Qatar’s Assistive Technology and Accessibility Center has been advocating for the use of technology for people with disabilities and special needs since 1994—seeking out ways to apply technology to creating accessibility for an underserved population.
Life-changing software for hearing impaired students—Ecuador
Imagine Cup winner Paco Pérez, along with fellow students and teammates created SkillBox, an affordable software solution to help hearing-impaired children by translating audio received from the teacher into sign language. The team (Falcon Dev) hopes to take their first step in making SkillBox available to children by selling the solution to public schools in Ecuador.
Recommendations for Providing Accessible Technology for Students to Enhance Personalized Learning
A report released by UNESCO entitled "Accessible ICTs and Personalized Learning for Students with Disabilities" outlines practical solutions for ensuring students with learning style differences, special needs, and disabilities can use personalized technology to enhance learning.
The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools
This book shares best practices for developing an assistive technology team within a school and using readily available assistive technology in Microsoft Windows and Office to address diverse learning needs of students with special needs and disabilities.
Different Students, Same Dreams
School Principal, Escola Secundária de Lagoa, São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal has been a Portuguese teacher for 15 years, a drama teacher for seven years and the Lagoa Secondary School Principal for three years. Amaral is interested in improving students' learning process and skills and in introducing the right tools—in and out of the classroom—to improve students' academic success.
Kinect Effect Reaches Into Hospitals, Senior Centers
In the year since Microsoft launched Kinect for Xbox 360, the controller-free device has been adopted and adapted for a growing number of non-gaming uses, many of them in the healthcare field.
Microsoft commits to improving accessibility in New Zealand
Microsoft New Zealand has signaled an increased focus on accessibility solutions by making a significant donation to the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind and announcing the availability of Microsoft Office add-ins for people with a hearing or vision impairment.
Free add-ins boost accessibility for Office 2010 users
Microsoft wants to make sure customers of all abilities can use Microsoft Office to get their work done. Today, we're happy to announce that STAMP and Save as DAISY Word 2010 are out of beta and ready for everyone to use!
Make talking books within Word: Save as DAISY for Office 2010
Save as Daisy for Office 2010 which allows users to convert Word documents to digital talking books makes working with Microsoft Word easier for people with print disabilities, and so helps them better meet their information needs.
Announcing STAMP: a new accessibility add-in for PowerPoint 2010
STAMP, an add-in which lets PowerPoint 2010 users quickly and easily add closed captions to video and audio files (first released as a beta version last spring) has been newly released.
School for the Blind Bridges Distances With Microsoft Lync
Microsoft Lync is helping students at the Washington State School for the Blind learn algebra and software programming remotely. See also Microsoft Lync 2010 Accessibility
Microsoft India Extends Support on World Disability Day
On World Disability Day Microsoft India announced efforts to help close the gap between the general community and people with visual, hearing, and learning impairments.
Empowering people with disabilities—a look at Latin America
On the 19th anniversary of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Hernan Rincon, President, Microsoft Latin America, reflects on Microsoft's accessibility mission and the progress his region is making in helping people with disabilities realize their full potential.
Accessibility at the Partners in Learning Global Forum
Microsoft hosted more than 700 innovative educators from around the world discussing the future of technology in education November 7 in Washington, D.C.
Microsoft honored at FCC for accessibility training resources
Microsoft received a Chairman Award for Advancement in Accessibility in recognition of the company’s work in creating a set of accessibility tools and training resources for developing accessible software, equipment and websites.
Back to School: Personalizing the PC so students can see, hear, and learn more comfortably
Going back to school means preparing for a new school year full of possibilities. While not on every traditional back-to-school checklist, making sure student technology is prepped and personalized for students is worth remembering.
Blind Ambition: How one student changed classroom learning for low vision students
This inspiring video shows how Imagine Cup winner, Note-Taker, enables low vision students to take notes in class with the assistance of a custom-designed portable camera, a touch-screen Tablet PC, and Microsoft OneNote.
Touching children's lives with Microsoft Surface technology,
"Surface evangelist" helps develop applications to support diagnostics and treatment of autism worldwide. More about Microsoft Surface technology which uses a touch interface and requires neither a monitor nor a mouse.
Microsoft Support for Accessibility
Microsoft Live@edu blog: At Microsoft we’re committed to accessibility and have been investing for more than 20 years, making a tremendous impact on the lives of people with a wide array of difficulties and impairments. We believe that all students—regardless of physical ability—deserve access to technology that enables them to realize their potential.
Microsoft Announces New Accessibility Offerings
Microsoft announced three new advances in accessibility in San Diego at the 26th International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference
Enabling Students of All Abilities to Realize Their Potential
has been a Microsoft goal for more than 20 years. Anthony Salcito, VP of Education at Microsoft, talks about our focus on making computers easier to use and technology has become an essential part of learning for students of all abilities.
Windows 7 and Office 2010 Make Accessibility More Affordable
Jamie Mayo, a senior rehabilitation engineer in the University of Michigan Rehabilitation Engineering Program, sees the value of Windows and Office accessibility every day in her work with people who experience many different types of disabilities and impairments. Read also Mayo's recommendations for affordable assistive technology solutions.
Back to School: Making Sure Students with Disabilities Can See, Hear, and Use their PCs
Supporting educational success includes making sure students' PCs are comfortable to see, hear, and use.
How do you learn to use Microsoft Windows if you can’t see?
New book, “Windows 7 and Vista Explained: A guide for blind and partially sighted users,” helps computer users with visual impairments learn to use Windows 7 and Windows Vista from a non-visual perspective.
Empowering Americans with Disabilities Through Technology
This Microsoft TechNet Blog addresses the White House announcement of a renewed commitment to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires access to the federal government's electronic and information technology for people with disabilities, as part of the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
DAISY Consortium, Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities, and Microsoft Partner on eBook Accessibility
A Japanese-language version of the free Microsoft Word add-in that enables the creation of Word documents in DAISY format is now offered. The add-in is used to create ebooks and learning materials in the widely used DAISY format.
Virtual Senior Center Enhances Lives of Homebound Seniors
Microsoft, the City of New York, and Selfhelp Community Services use technology to create an interactive experience between homebound seniors and local senior centers. View video.
Microsoft Showcases Assistive Technology for Seniors
New York and other cities are working with Microsoft to bring computers, webcams, and other high-tech gear to the homebound elderly.
Baby Boomers Want Technology That Fits Their Lifestyle and Values
Futurist Michael Rogers explains how new research by Microsoft and AARP may change industry perceptions of how aging computer users help determine the survival and evolution of technology products and services.
Simple Loop Helps Special Needs Kids Control Their Mice
Microsoft employee Mike LaManna was surprised to find few adaptive solutions for special needs children who had trouble using computer mice. Using creativity, trial and error, and some helpful coworkers, LaManna set out to change that.
Inclusive Innovation Showroom Opens to Demonstrate Accessibility
A new Inclusive Innovation Showroom, designed to demonstrate how accessibility features in Microsoft products and assistive technology solutions developed by Microsoft partners can make it easier for anyone to see, hear, and use a computer at work or at home, has opened on the Microsoft Redmond campus.
Preserving Dreams: Inventive Rehabilitation Counselor Enables Patients to Gain Back Their Independence
For more than a decade, Curt Johnson has served as a rehabilitation counselor with the UW Medical Center. Johnson, who likes problem-solving and mechanical tinkering, brings a unique set of skills to a challenging job.
Connecting People with the Right Technology Has a Positive Impact On Their Lives, and Mine
Joanne Castellano is the director of TECHConnection, a program of Family Resource Associates, a nonprofit organization in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, that assists people with disabilities and their families.
Vista from an Accessible View
Logan Olson, 21, says the speech-recognition software she tried out at Microsoft would help in her work publishing a lifestyle magazine for young women with disabilities. By Benjamin J. Romano, Seattle Times technology reporter.
Injured Iraq Vet, Using Technology that Helped Him Recover, Aims to Help Others
Technology is playing an important role in helping mitigate the effects of injuries sustained by U.S. Marine, Jonathan Kuniholm, in Iraq on New Year's Day 2003. See also press release.