Ability spelled out in American Sign Language symbols and braille
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Ability

Empowering people with long-term, temporary, or situational disabilities

The MSR Ability team’s mission is to empower people with disabilities (long-term, temporary, or situational). We conduct user-focused research to invent novel, accessible technologies that combine advances in HCI and computing.

According to the WHO, more than one billion people worldwide, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form a disability, making them the world’s largest minority. In the US, the CDC reports that 26% of adults in the United States (1 in 4!) live with some form of disability. We believe that computing technologies can play a unique role in improving the quality of life and extending the capabilities of people with disabilities. In our work, we seek to:

  • Understand the tech-related challenges and needs of people with disabilities
  • In close partnership with people with disabilities and their communities, invent novel, inclusive technologies that attempt to meet their needs and aspirations
  • Collaborate with Microsoft product groups, academics, and other organizations to spread these innovations to the world

“For me, my greatest satisfaction has come from my passion to see technology become more accessible for people with disabilities and to help improve their lives in a myriad of ways.”
– Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, 2017