Dan Truax General Manager, Partner Digital Experiences and Programs

Let’s seize the opportunity of an accessible future, together

Guy in chair

On May 20, we celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), a catalyst for thinking about how we can help increase digital inclusion and accessibility for the more than one billion people with disabilities around the world.

We invite you to join us in thinking about how technology can unlock solutions that empower people with disabilities and lead to greater innovations for everyone. Consider, too, that together with their friends and family, people living with disabilities represent a spending power of USD8 trillion.

Delivering accessible technology is part of modernizing your products and services. It enables your business and customers to capture the business value of building solutions and services with accessibility top of mind—while making the world better for more of us.

Read Brad Smith's blog about our investments in accessibility.

Learn from Microsoft partners featured in our #BuildFor2030 campaign

Our #BuildFor2030 campaign highlights partners whose technology solutions align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 initiatives adopted by member states in 2015 that focus on impacting the world for good by 2030. 

We’re proud of the partners who are driving innovation in assistive technology. They’re providing services that enable inclusive hybrid workplaces. They’re building solutions that support caregivers, educators, and health providers and increase disability inclusion within their communities.  

View a showcase of #BuildFor2030 featured partner solutions.

Enabling more inclusive workplaces for remote and hybrid work

Remote and hybrid work are here to stay. By enabling inclusive workplaces, you can establish a competitive difference. You can weave accessibility into your remote work practice and help customers improve productivity and employee engagement.

Partner spotlight: SoftwareONE 

SoftwareONE is helping customers achieve greater collaboration and improved communication by leveraging accessibility tools within Microsoft 365 and as part of curated adoption and change management resources.

Partner spotlight: Future Worx

Future Worx's accessibility bot helps to identify Microsoft product features that help support your personal way of working. It also helps to enable customers like this university grow student engagement by leveraging Microsoft Teams to meet their hearing, mental health, mobility, neurodiversity, and vision needs.

Enabling disability inclusion within our communities

One in 10 people who identify as having some form of disability lacks the assistive technology to fully participate in work and society. Partners’ innovations are helping to increase access to better care, support, and services, particularly with social and travel restrictions brought forth by the pandemic. 

Partner spotlight: Lexplore

Lexplore created an innovative rapid reading assessment powered by eye-tracking and AI to help teachers quickly and accurately identify students with reading challenges and support their progress. 

Partner spotlight: WeWALK

WeWALK is bringing modern technology to the traditional long white cane, one of the most essential tools used by people with visual impairments. They've built a smart cane designed for the smartphone era—one that, for example, vibrates when it detects a low-hanging object.

Learn from partners driving inclusive hiring practices

The unemployment rate for people with disabilities is typically twice that of people living without disabilities, and the pandemic has worsened this gap.

Did you know that organizations that embrace best practices for employing and supporting persons with disabilities in the workplace financially outperform their peers? In tapping often overlooked talent, organizations enable more diverse perspectives, which drives better decision-making, propels innovation, and increases employee retention.

Leading partners are developing programs to make hiring practices more inclusive:

  • Dell Technologies launched the Neurodiversity Hiring Program, which rethinks the traditional interview process and provides qualified candidates with meaningful employment opportunities at the company.
  • EY piloted a Neurodiversity Center of Excellence and saw improved innovation, then expanded the program to 6 centers in the U.S. and globally to Canada and India.

Ready to learn more? Disability:IN is a nonprofit empowering advocacy and resources with a network of over 250 corporations committed to increasing opportunities for people living with disabilities.

Start your learning journey

For many of us, this journey begins with growing our awareness and skilling up:

By enabling a culture of changemaking, you can help drive innovation forward. Last year, over 500 participants from 11 countries participated in the AI for Accessibility hackathon in Asia Pacific to prototype solutions that can help transform the daily lives of people with disabilities.

Seizing our opportunity for an accessible future 

With a focus on digital transformation and modernization, partners are in a unique position to help enable more inclusive workplaces, build and scale accessible technology.

Let’s work together to help level the playing field for people living with disabilities while driving innovation and business growth. 

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