Microsoft/GW Micro Unite to Improve Access to Office
people with disabilities benefit and become mosr inclusive into society
Microsoft and GW Micro have partnered to provide people who are blind or have low vision improved access to Microsoft Office. Customers who have purchased and installed any version of Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013, including both perpetual and subscription clients, are eligible to download a free copy of Window-Eyes, GW Micro’s screen reading software.
Microsoft is committed to provide everyone access to its technology. A fundamental consideration during product design, development and testing of Office is the level of accessibility of Microsoft’s applications. The Office team works closely with a variety of groups to improve the accessibility of its software including standards bodies, regulators, advocacy groups and an ecosystem of assistive technology (AT) vendors, including the Narrator team in Microsoft. The company’s goal is to provide our customers with solutions that give them choice, meets a variety of accessibility needs and is delivered at an affordable price.
“By partnering with GW Micro we are able to improve access to the Office suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook,” said Jake Zborowski, Microsoft. Whether people want to use Office at home, school or work they have more flexibility and an improved opportunity to take advantage of Microsoft’s latest software innovations.
This is just one more example of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to provide all of our customers with the technology and tools that help all people be productive in both their work and personal lives. We will continue to find new ways to improve the accessibility in our software working with assistive technology partners like GW Micro, Narrator and others to improve both the technical capabilities as well as easier access to our products.
“Without Microsoft technology, I’d still be wishing and waiting for the pivotal moment in my life where I finally got to experience everything I ever wanted to experience,” Churman says.
Former pro-football player Steve Gleason, who is battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), uses his Microsoft Surface to communicate and inspire others who have been diagnosed with the disease. Communicating through eye-tracking technology on his Surface, he says, "Although I am hopeful for a medical cure for ALS, I have always said, 'Until there is one, technology is my cure.'"
To view a video of Gleason visit http://blogs.technet.com/b/firehose/archive/2014/01/31/former-pro-football-player-uses-eye-tracking-tech-on-surface-to-communicate.aspx
Five-year-old Braylon O'Neill was born without tibia and fibula bones in both of his legs, but that hasn't stopped him from engaging and interacting with the world in much the same way other kids his age do.
"We use Microsoft technology to analyze Braylon's gait mechanics," says Treacy Lewander, Braylon's physical therapist. "We're able to slow down his movements and watch them, or track where his joints are in space to make any suggestions we may have for his prosthetic alignment, or where he may need more strength."
When he was 11 months old, Braylon was fitted for his first pair of prostheses – and now he plays ball, he jumps, he walks. In fact, Braylon participated in the San Diego Triathlon Challenge, where he entered in his first kids' race and won a medal.
"I think the technology has changed Braylon's life by opening up the world for him and really making it the limitless world, which is what every parent aspires for their child," says Kelli O'Neill, Braylon's mother.