Organisations need to think about accessibility, what it means and why is it so important for their business and their employees. Every business has a responsibility to be inclusive. We want to help start conversations about this and raise awareness, so that more organisations can get onboard.
For this, we look to Microsoft because they have great business bundle packages that also include accessibility features and stand-alone applications specifically designed for people who have disabilities. Microsoft are making it their mission to use technology in order to help people with disabilities achieve more. Everyone deserves an opportunity to be the best, and to be the best, you need the best tools.

‘’The disability is not the problem. The accessibility is the problem’’ – Mohamed Jemni

If we all can make small changes, sell products that have accessibility features and keep talking about it, then we are moving closer to a solution. In this blog, we want to cover Microsoft Products that include accessibility features. We will also cover a few steps to help organisations to become more inclusive. This is our take on accessibility and for us, this is the first step! Talking about it!

For training on accessibility features, go over to www.365cloudacademy.com or call 0800 148 8001.

Office 365 Accessibility Features

Here’s a list of features we have come across in Office 365, personally we love it and it shows how advanced technology is that it’s able to make an impact.

Accessibility Checker can be accessed in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook and Visio. The accessibility checker can analyse a piece of content and provides recommendations on the right-hand side of the document. This helps users to identify errors and fix them. Accessibility checker now can identify a range of issues within a document through A.I technology and make intelligent suggestions to improve the document.

Tell Me is available in every single Office 365 application. The ‘Tell Me’ features helps people find features and functions within Office applications by simply typing into a search box. It will then direct the user to the function, this feature is useful for users who have low vision, cognitive disabilities, memory loss or just as a useful prompt for anyone that can’t remember where the feature is located.

Tell Me - Accessibility Checker

Automatic Text Tool leverages A.I technology to analyse images and convert to text. It can identify people and objects and provides a person who is blind with content. Alt text can be used for charts, graphs and other media. It’s a great feature and is also a great preference for users who prefer to reading over visual ways of presenting information.

Automatic Alternative Text automatically suggests descriptions for images. It also has the capability to learn overtime, which will help to save time when creating content and is helpful for people who have visual impairments or are blind.

To learn how to use Office 365 accessibility features, go over to www.365cloudacademy.com or call 0800 148 8001.

Window 10 Accessibility Features

Here’s a list of great accessibility features that are built in Windows 10. There are a lot of features to cover but they’re worth knowing about!

High Contrast is a feature that increases the colour contrast of text and images on a screen to make it easier for users who have certain visual impairments, such as cataracts, and they require high contrast themes to see apps and content with less eye strain. The feature is simple and easy to use.

Colour Filters is a feature that enables users to change the colour palette on the screen to help them differentiate between different elements on the screen. This is helpful for users who suffer from colour blindness.

Magnifier is a feature that enlarges sections of the screen so that users can see words and images better by pressing ‘Windows key’ and ‘+’. It’s useful for making content easier to consume for people who prefer text and apps to be larger, or to focus on just one part of a programme.

magnify

To learn how to use Office 365 accessibility features, go over to www.365cloudacademy.com or call 0800 148 8001.

Microsoft Translator is a great tool that converts text to text in a different language. It doesn’t translate word by word but scans the entire sentence to make sure it understands the context, then translates using the proper grammar as well. It’s definitely a smart tool! Users can also speak into the device and convert it to text in the same language, which is useful if users want to transcribe. This can help people communicate better and be more productive. Users can build new relationships with people they may not have been able to converse with previously. Users who don’t know how to sign can use translator app to communicate with people who are deaf, which is great for removing barriers and starting a new conversation!

Future of A.I for Accessibility

Seeing A.I is an amazing app created by someone called Saqib at Microsoft, that narrates the world around him. It’s a great way to see the capabilities of A.I through the lens of someone who is visually impaired. Watch this video to learn more.

Features of this Seeing A.I

• Speaks text in front of camera
• Provide auto guidance to capture a printed page and recognised text in format
• Audio beeps to locate barcodes and scan to identify item.
• Recognises and describes people around you, including their facial expression
• Scene feature describes the scenery
• Identify currency bills when paying cash
• Generate an audible tone corresponding to brightness in surrounding
• Colours- describes the perceived colour
• Reads handwritten text

Office Lens

Office Lens is scanner users can access on mobile devices. This product enables users to take pictures, enhance the photo and save to OneNote. Users can then use the Immersive Reader tool to have it read loud. In context, users can take pictures of whiteboards or sticky notes and have it read out for those who prefer it to be audio. This can be very useful for users who suffer from visual impairments and gives them an opportunity to be part of meetings and take actions.

Office Lens - Accessibility

How do I get started?

Step 1: Have that conversation?

Start the conversation. Organisations need to have open conversations with their employees and see If they have any difficulties at work. 70% of employees who have disability don’t tell their boss. It’s important to make users feel comfortable, to be able to have open discussions about this topic and that’s when the real change starts to happen.

Step 2: Solutions for your employees

Thinks of areas in the business where it needs to be more accessible. Perhaps you need to start with documents and ensure that there are different versions to the same piece of content for everyone. Yes, it might take a bit of work but honestly, it’s going to help someone do their job better, then why not?
Organisations need to start thinking about investing in tools that help employees do their jobs better. We highly recommend Office 365 and Windows 10, as we previously highlighted, they have a number of features that are designed to help users be more productive and will also make them happy. Productive employees are happy employees!

To learn more about Office 365 & Windows 10, call us on 0800 148 8001 or fill out the form at the bottom of this article & we will get straight back to you.

Step 3: Solutions for your customers

Organisations don’t need to come up with anything crazy but the simplest products can make a big difference. Thinks about the audience, what problems they are facing and how we can improve their personal and work life. What tools will really help? Remember the disability is not the problem, the accessibility is! We thought we’d leave it on this note and hope that more organisations start to talk about accessibility and make an impact!

For more information on Accessibility products and services, call us on 0800 148 8001 or fill out the form below.


For more information, call us on 0800 148 8001 or email TellMeMore@TechQuarters.com


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