Access for all
Inclusion in action

Access for all: creating an inclusive world

How do you create a world where everyone has the opportunity to communicate, play, learn, and experience all the world has to offer—regardless of their abilities, their level of education, or where they come from?

Thanks to purposeful engineering, experiences that were once closed off to people with disabilities or from different backgrounds are now open to all. From eye-controlled technology to open-access museums to immersive concerts, visionaries are harnessing technology to design a more inclusive world.

"Until there’s a cure for ALS, technology is the cure."

In 2011, former NFL player Steve Gleason was diagnosed with ALS—a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Today, he's a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal—the highest cilvilian honor in the United States—for the work he's done through his charity Team Gleason, providing technology, equipment, and services that empower people with ALS to live as productively and independently as possible.

Image of Steve Gleason

Opening up access to a world of art, music, and ideas

For centuries, seeing art and music firsthand was something reserved for the lucky few—those with the resources, experiences, and abilities to get past the gatekeepers and access the sea of knowledge behind the work. But thanks to technology, that reality is changing fast. Explore how the world of art, music, and ideas is becoming more accessible than ever.

Widescreen shot of the rock band X Ambassadors as they play on stage during a concert.

Defining what’s possible when passion is matched by purpose

Rock band X Ambassadors believe that music is multi-sensory. It’s not only something we hear—we can feel it. And see it. This is particularly true for keyboardist and founding member Casey Harris, who was born with low vision. Find out how Casey’s experiences have shaped the band, making accessibility and inclusion an integral part of how they reach their fans. And learn more about how he's striving to create a world without limits with help from his family and accessible technology.

Unlocking the power and passion of play

Play is an essential part of being human. It’s how we unwind, connect, and feel the joy of being alive. And that’s what makes it a crucial part of inclusive design. These innovative initiatives have helped unlock the power and passion of play by building products that are accessible to all people of all abilities.

Spencer Allen

Meet Spencer Allen

A passionate gamer and relentless creator, Spencer Allen had an accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. After his accident, he didn’t think about gaming as there wasn’t a good solution for him. Once the Adaptive Controller came out – gaming was always on his mind. Inspired by the Adaptive Controller, he created his own rig with the addition of custom buttons and joysticks giving him the precise trigger movements to play Halo and Call of Duty at the level he used to.

Changing the game… for anyone who wants to play

The new Xbox Adaptive Controller will make gaming accessible to players around the world, of all ages, with a broad range of disabilities. The controller can be connected to external buttons, switches, joysticks and mounts, giving gamers with physical disabilities the ability to customize their setups.

At Burton Snowboards, “we’re all riders”

Burton Snowboards lives by its mission, harnessing inclusive design and creativity to explore adaptive technology in a way that helps all riders—including those with disabilities—achieve their full potential. They continue to perfect their innovative Step On® boots and bindings system, which lets riders lock into place without bending over or sitting in the snow to adjust straps.

Two people look at the Surface Studio screen at the Met
adults converse at a table with a large renaissance painting behind them
A crowd seated during a presentation at the Cleveland Museum of Art to learn about the museum's Open Access program.
How museums are making their collections available to all

Through Open Access, museums are making their vast public domain art collections—including downloadable images and valuable metadata for tens of thousands of works—available online for free to anyone, anywhere in the world. 

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met launched an Open Access platform in 2017, making images and data relating to public-domain art in the collection available for all online. Now, their goal is to help audiences discover artworks and find meaningful connections between them.

Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland Museum of Art's Open Access initiative make over 30,000 works of art from its collection accessible online for free. The public can reuse, remix, and share these public domain artworks for virtually any purpose—personal, scholarly, even commercial. Photo credit: Scott Shaw Photography

Girl using learning tools on a Surface
INCLUSION IN ACTION
Access for all
When we design for inclusivity, we amplify human capability in ways beyond our imagination. See how Microsoft technology is making education more inclusive for students around the world.

Microsoft’s Learning Tools help students with learning differences improve their reading skills.

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Zyrobotics is using AI technology to help fill in literacy gaps for underserved students.

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Students sitting at tables working on computers inside the enabling boat.

The Enabling Boat gives coastal youth in Vietnam access to tech training and opportunity.

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A group of students collaborating, working together on a touch-enabled laptop screen.
A group of students collaborating, working together on a touch-enabled laptop screen.

Discover the range of Microsoft’s accessibility tools that can meet the needs of diverse learners.

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