Last week we released the Accessibility Guide for Educators for Windows 10 and Office 2016. And I put it onto my ‘must share that sometime’ list. But it wasn’t a priority for me, because in the past I’ve written a lot about accessibility with Microsoft products and services, including things like:
- The Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for Australia, where a teacher or parent call and get telephone support from specialists who can help you to work out a strategy for supporting an individual with accessibility needs
- How a teacher in the US uses OneNote with an interactive whiteboard to support students with autism
- Free PowerPoint templates to help families of children with autism
I wrote that blog post over two years ago, and I can still remember the day when a close colleague told me that he’d found it through a web search, and how it helped him prepare his son for a birthday party. A nice moment to learn something I’d done actually helped somebody else.
But this morning I watched a video shared by my colleagues in Canada, about Matthew’s journey with assistive technology, and it tells the story of how Matthew Cockburn uses various assistive technology to help him with challenges created by his cerebral palsy - things like the ability to simply plug in a special mouse and keyboard to allow him to use a laptop to keep up with the other students.
I’m pretty sure there are parents, teachers and lecturers who don’t know about the range of support resources we have for helping with accessibility needs, and how some simple steps could help children and young people with disabilities to have more success in their learning journey.
So instead of filling out some cells in another dull spreadsheet this morning, I thought I’d spend half an hour to write this, share the video above, and let you know about the Accessibility Guide, and our other resources.
Can you take 30 seconds too, and share this information with another colleague or friend that could use it? Because somewhere in your circle of friends-of-friends there’s another Matthew, and you might just be helping them…