The Fall Creators Update Brings Us Closer to a Windows for Everyone

By Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer Today, with the launch of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is taking a big step forward on our journey to make our products more accessible and empower people with disabilities. Our teams have been working tirelessly to build inclusive content and expand the usability of core accessible…


Inclusion Drives Innovation in the Workplace

By Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer October marks the 70th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) with the theme, “Inclusion Drives Innovation”. This year it’s not just a theme – it’s a truth we see every day at our company and in organizations around the world. A diverse and talented workforce brings new…


Hitting Refresh on Accessibility

By Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer This week, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella released his new book, Hit Refresh. In it he shares the inside story of our quest to rediscover Microsoft’s soul and imagine a better future for everyone. It spans his journey from India to the US, to the culture changes he is driving…


Working Together to Advance Disability Inclusion in the Business Community

By Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer We recently attended the 20th Annual U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) National Conference in Orlando. It was truly an amazing week with over 1,200 people from across the U.S. corporate sector coming together to empower the business community to create inclusive workplaces that value people with disabilities. This year, Microsoft…


Disability Inclusion at Microsoft: A Personal Journey – Joey Chemis

“When you work at Microsoft, you get to be at the forefront of cutting-edge technology,” said Joey Chemis, a data scientist at Microsoft Worldwide Operations. Joey joined Microsoft through the Autism Hiring Program, designed to empower people with autism and help them demonstrate their skills and potential to hiring managers at the company. As Joey…


Disability Inclusion at Microsoft: A Personal Journey – Swetha Machanavajhala

“To understand the customer’s point of view, we need to have a diverse population at Microsoft,” noted Swetha Machanavajhala, software engineer. “We need to have more women working, more people of different abilities working, so we create an awareness within Microsoft, first, and then we take our learning to the world.” At Microsoft, Swetha uses…


Disability Inclusion at Microsoft: A Personal Journey – Amos Miller

“Working in an organization like Microsoft, it’s like working in a toy store,” said Amos Miller, a product strategist with Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence and Research team. “You basically have everything around you to help you with what you want to do.” When Amos considered joining Microsoft a decade ago, he was looking for a role…


Disability Inclusion at Microsoft: A Personal Journey – Jessica Rafuse

“We need diversity! We need people who are diverse in abilities, diverse in thoughts,” said Jessica Rafuse, program manager with Microsoft Accessibility, and an employment attorney by trade. “It really makes all of us better to learn from those who aren’t necessarily as like-minded as we are.” Jessica is passionate about technology and the potential…


Businesses Focus on Empowering People with Disabilities at Upcoming USBLN Conference

People with disabilities are a strength and their inclusion in the fabric of the company is a strategic imperative. These are all words that you’ve heard and seen on the Accessibility Blog in recent months and years: we’re becoming a bit of a scratched record on the subject! While the goal of building a diverse work culture that embraces…


From Hack to Product, Microsoft Empowers People with Eye Control for Windows 10

Sometimes, a simple email can lead to a life-changing breakthrough. In 2014, former NFL player Steve Gleason, who has a neuromuscular disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sent an email to Microsoft, challenging employees at the company’s first hackathon. Steve’s ask to this diverse array of thinkers, doers and dreamers was to develop technology that…