Microsoft Recognized for Advancing Accessibility

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Microsoft’s efforts to advance accessibility were recognized at the end of the past week in a ceremony hosted by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski.

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The Redmond company is offering a comprehensive collection of resources designed to streamline the work of developers building accessible software, equipment and websites.

Dubbed the Microsoft Accessibility Tools & Training Resources, the set of offerings has been available free of charge to devs worldwide.

Because its dedication and work to support accessible technology, the software giant received the Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility at FCC.

“The awards were presented for the development of individual mainstream or assistive technologies introduced into the marketplace, the development of standards, or the implementation of best practices that foster accessibility,” noted Laura Ruby, director, Trustworthy Computing – Accessibility Policy & Standards, Microsoft.

“The timing of the a ceremony was very fitting because October is Disability Employment Awareness Month, and also marks the first anniversary of the Twenty-First Communications and Video Programming Accessibility Act (CVAA).

The accolade comes to reflect the Redmond company’s long time commitment to advancing accessible technology.

Offerings such as the Microsoft Accessibility Tools & Training Resources, make it possible for people with disabilities or additional impediments such as injuries or age-related difficulties to use computers, devices, applications, websites, etc.

“Microsoft initially developed the online tools and training courses to increase accessibility awareness and expertise among its own developer groups,” Ruby added.

“In response to growing customer demand for accessibility guidance, however, Microsoft decided to make the resources available, free of charge, to corporations, governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) around the world that want to make technology more accessible.”

According to the FCC, the Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility come to celebrate the work done to push accessibility forward and open up technology to people that might otherwise find it impossible to use.