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Press Releases about Accessibility at Microsoft

2014 Press Releases

Learn How Microsoft Office Can Make Your Materials More Accessible
Microsoft Office offers tools to help you make your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations easier to see, hear, and use, and more accessible to people with disabilities.
(September 2014)

Steve Gleason: Eyes on the prize
Former NFL star Steve Gleason and his family, friends, and supporters in “Team Gleason” are galvanizing others to action that improves the lives of people with neuromuscular diseases or other injuries.
(September 2014)

Not Impossible Labs Shows How Accessible Technology Can Improve Lives around the World
When Mick Ebeling first learned how 14-year-old Daniel lost his arms during a bombing in war-torn South Sudan he didn’t reach for his checkbook—he reached for technology and creativity.
(September 2014)

The International Association of Accessibility Professionals Is Growing Fast
The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) is well on its way to becoming a globally recognized organization for accessibility professionals as it exceeded membership and organizational goals in its first months of operation. See also: Diversity and Collaboration Will Drive IAAP’s Success.
(September 2014)

Microsoft Helps Open a New Computer Training Center in India for People with Vision Impairments
One of India's most respected eye-health organizations, the L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), opened a new center with help from Microsoft that provides much-needed computer training to visually impaired individuals.
(September 2014)

Supreme Court Drops the R-Word
In a move hailed by advocates, the US Supreme Court used the words intellectual disability instead of mental retardation in a recent ruling, becoming the latest and perhaps one of the last national institutions to make the change, according to DisabilityScoop.
(September 2014)

Back to School with a Wealth of Windows Education Apps for Students, Parents, and Teachers
Students are heading back to school, and this year more are showing up with mobile devices that extend their learning far beyond the classroom. Microsoft has a wealth of accessible Windows 8 apps for their devices that will help them excel whatever their needs.
(August 2014)

Microsoft Researcher Looks to Accessibility Group for Help Making Devices Responsive to Senses
Microsoft researcher Hong Tan wants to make device screens more responsive to your touch, or tactile senses, and she is drawing inspiration and support from the Microsoft Accessibility group.
(August 2014)

Windows 8 Empowers a High School Student with a Rare Disorder
With its advanced technologies, enhanced accessibility features, and touchscreen, Windows 8 is helping teenager Alejandra Tristan transform both her education and her life.
(August 2014)

Microsoft Sign Language Class Connects a Mother with Her Family and Colleagues
When Bonnie Kearney decided to take a sign language class during her lunch hour, she was a little nervous. New languages didn’t always come easily to her, though she was a gifted communicator for Microsoft.
(August 2014)

Assistive Technology Specialist Sees Benefits and Progress of Windows Magnifier and Zoom
John Rempel uses Zoom and Magnifier features in Windows dozens of times in his busy day—reading emails, viewing spreadsheets, and writing technology reviews for AccessWorld magazine.
(August 2014)

Steve Gleason Joins Microsoft Employees at //Oneweek Hackathon to Make Surface More Accessible
In February, in a one-minute Super Bowl commercial, Microsoft and former NFL safety Steve Gleason showed the world how the Surface can empower us all. Later he joined 5,000 Microsoft employees in a week-long company-wide “hackathon” to improve Microsoft products and platforms.
(July 2014)

Accessibility Captures the Imagination of Finalists at the 2014 Microsoft Imagine Cup
Accessibility is a growing force in the Imagine Cup—the world’s leading technology competition for students. This year, four of the thirteen finalists in the World Citizenship Competition developed accessibility apps.
(July 2014)

On the ADA’s Anniversary Work Remains to Make Workplaces Accessible
On the twenty-fourth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Laura Ruby, Director of Accessibility Policy and Standards at Microsoft, reflects on progress and continuing challenges ahead.
(July 2014)

IBM Names Frances West as Chief Accessibility Officer
In this Microsoft Accessibility blog, Microsoft Chief Accessibility Officer Rob Sinclair reflects on the naming of longtime colleague, Frances West, as IBM’s first Chief Accessibility Officer (CAO).
(July 2014)

Access Israel Is Working Towards True Integration of All People with Disabilities
James Thurston, Director of International Accessibility Policy at Microsoft, talks about “one of the best parts of my job…collaborating with inspiring organizations around the world that are working to create a more accessible and inclusive society. At the second annual conference of Access Israel, a nonprofit group working to improve quality of life for people with disabilities, Thurston learned about the "incredible range of accessibility work happening across that country."
(July 2014)

New Story Features Microsoft Project that Uses Your Skin as a Keypad
Scientists and doctors are merging technology and the human body in breakthroughs that help people with a wide range of abilities, including a project by Microsoft researchers that is developing keypads for your skin, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
(July 2014)

2013 Press Releases

Microsoft wins Access-ABLE Award from the Paralyzed Veterans of America
Access-Able awards recognize people and organizations making major contributions to help disabled veterans live the lives they deserve through technology, architecture, accessibility, and jobs.
(October 2013)

2012 Press Releases

Microsoft Awards Imagine Cup Grants to Jumpstart Student Startups That Address Social Issues
Students from around the world awarded cash and in-kind funding to support development of technology solutions to solve global problems.
(December 2012)

Online Health Tool Will Help Members Manage and Improve
AARP and Microsoft announced the launch of AARP Health Record which helps people over age 50 better control their health information.
(June 2012)

Microsoft, City of Los Angeles Announce Program That Increases Activity and Well-Being of Seniors
Microsoft, the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging, Partners in Care Foundation, and St. Barnabas Senior Services unveiled an innovative program called the Exergamers Wellness Club, which combines technology with exercise, overall health monitoring, and evidence-based health education from Partners in Care. See also feature article, and blog.
(April 4, 2012)

Microsoft Imagine Cup Grants Awarded to Students to Help Create Businesses and Nonprofits Aimed at Global Change
At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Microsoft Corporation announced the winners of the inaugural year of the Imagine Cup Grants program, a three-year, $3 million competitive grant program for student technology and social entrepreneurs.
(January 27, 2012)

2011 Press Releases

Kinect for Xbox 360 Brings Gaming to Kids with Disabilities
Kinect controller-free gaming is helping children with disabilities play video games for the first time.
(July 20, 2011)

Arizona State University Students Win Top U.S. Spot at Imagine Cup, the “World Championships of Technology,” With Assistive Note-Taking Solution
Students from Arizona State University took the top prize in the U.S. finals of the 2011 Imagine Cup, the world’s premier student technology competition, with their project that 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.
(April 11, 2011)

Microsoft Announces Free Accessibility Tools and Training for Developers
Online training and resources can help corporations, governments and NGOs worldwide make their technology products and services more accessible to people with disabilities.
(March 17, 2011)

Office Announces Two New Accessibility Add-ins
Customers count on Microsoft Office to meet their productivity needs, including people with hearing or print disabilities. Today we are announcing the public betas of two Office add-ins that increase the accessibility of Office documents.
March 17, 2011)

2010 Press Releases

Accessibility Options in Windows 7 and Office 2010 Make It Easier for Everyone to See, Hear and Use Computers
Accessible technology, designed to help people with disabilities, enables aging workers and all other users to personalize and improve their computing experience.
(October 21, 2010)

Imagine Cup Winner Aims to Help Students with Hearing Impairments in Classrooms
Thailand's Team Skeek took first place in Imagine Cup 2010 in the software design category for their project eyeFeel. The software uses a number of technologies, including speech and facial recognition systems and a text-to-sign language translator, to facilitate real-time conversations with someone who is deaf. The team said its goal was to encourage more people with hearing difficulties to enter regular schools and universities.
(July 8, 2010)

Microsoft Unveils New Technology That Allows Batteries to Be Inserted in Either Direction
New Insta-Load technology serves a usability benefit for battery-operated accessibility devices designed for people with hearing, vision, or learning disabilities. Find out more.
(July 1, 2010)

Virtual Senior Center Connects Homebound Seniors to Community and Family
A demonstration project developed by Microsoft, the city of New York and Selfhelp Community Services shows how technology can reduce social isolation, increase wellness and enhance quality of life for homebound seniors.
(March 10, 2010)

2009 Press Releases

Baby Boomers Are Shaping the Future of Technology, AARP and Microsoft Research Shows
Aging computer users have a unique relationship to technology—different from any generation before or since—and they are actively shaping the devices, software and services of tomorrow by the choices they are making today, according to a new research report from AARP and Microsoft.
(December 1, 2009)

Microsoft Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000 Makes Everyday Tasks Easier with Smart Features for Windows 7
More than seven in 10 Americans have felt discomfort from computer use, so Microsoft Corporation debuted the ergonomist-approved Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000, which utilizes a Comfort Curve layout that encourages natural wrist posture with a slight six-degree curve. This new desktop set combines the Microsoft Comfort Curve keyboard layout with a soft-touch palm rest to make the PC experience more comfortable.
(August 4, 2009)

2008 Press Releases

Inclusive Innovation Showroom Illustrates Value of Accessible Technology
Microsoft Accessibility Group opens new showroom featuring home and office technology to help people with disabilities and the aging enjoy a digital lifestyle.
(October 14, 2008)

Imagine Cup 2008: Web-based Screen Reader Wins Top Accessibility Prize
Student designs technology that makes any computer usable by people who are blind.
(June 18, 2008)

Microsoft, DAISY Make Reading Easier for People With Print Disabilities
Using Office Open XML files, users of Microsoft Office Word can now produce content in the world's most widely used assistive technology format.
(May 7, 2008)

Microsoft Announces New Accessibility Tools and Resources for Developers
New website and open-source accessibility testing tools will help developers meet the growing worldwide demand for accessible technology.
(March 13, 2008)

Microsoft Provides Accessibility Programming Model to Industry Group Devoted to Interoperability and Accessibility
Microsoft makes its accessibility model freely available to help improve access to technology for people with disabilities.
(January 17, 2008)

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