Reaffirming our commitment to accessibility

At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. This mission connects in fundamental ways with how we as a company operate, how we design and develop technology and how we work with others to serve people with disabilities. We are committed to delivering great experiences to people with disabilities, and as President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith noted earlier this month, this will require us to raise our ambition.

Today, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reaffirmed that accessibility is core to our mission, and outlined three commitments that will guide our progress as a company in an all-company mail. Here is what he shared in that mail:

As I think about living our mission, top of mind for me heading into 2016 is how we must make Microsoft products accessible to the more than 1 billion people globally of all abilities. This is a shared goal. Universal design is central to how we realize our mission and will make all our products better. Along with our Senior Leadership Team, I will continue to devote my time and passion to this priority.

Specifically, we will do three things: First, be transparent in sharing our goals and plans to ensure our products are accessible. Second, be accountable, which means engineering leads will prioritize universal design in the development of all products and services going forward. Third, continue to make this part of our work on building a more inclusive culture, including efforts to expand our existing accessibility hiring and awareness training initiatives and programs.

Comments (3)
  1. Paul Topping says:

    Then why do we have no MathML support in the Edge browser? MathML is the key to math accessibility.

  2. Florian Beijers says:

    That's the spirit 🙂 Universal apps can only be truly universal when they include  accessibility from the start. The accessibility implementation must be complete, yet easy to use. Ideally, all standard controls should inherently be accessible, kind of like the .NET winforms days but better. If devs barely have to think about it, the effect might just be tremendous.

  3. David Goldfield says:

    I applaud Microsoft's stance on accessibility. However, I admit to being somewhat frustrated that some apps preinstalled with Windows 10 still lack full screen reader accessibility, even though the operating system has bbeen out for five months. Specifically, Edge is still not fully accessible and, to my knowledge, can only be used with NVDA. I am also very disappointed that the Mail app lacks enough accessibility to make it fully usable.

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