Building accessible solutions and services for a more inclusive future
This article was bylined by Eduardo Kassner in his former role as Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft.
As people and organizations around the world navigate the transition to digital, customers are looking to us and our partners to not only support them with setting up their IT infrastructure, but to help them optimize remote work to drive meaningful collaboration and engagement with their employees—and the digital solutions to serve their end-customers.
On Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May 21), we shared stories from Microsoft’s Accessibility journey, including the Ability Hack teams that have engineered nearly 300 accessibility projects as part of Microsoft’s annual One Week Hackathon. Last week, we continued the spotlight on accessibility with our annual Ability Summit.
Disabilities can become more apparent in new work circumstances such as remote work. We are seeing an increase in demand for accessible features such as live captions in Microsoft Teams, and receiving more requests through Microsoft’s Disability Answer Desk, where customers with disabilities get support with Microsoft Office, Windows and Xbox Accessibility.
When solutions are built with inclusive design, it helps us all stay productive and engaged. With an accelerated move to digital, it is even more critical that we harness the power of Microsoft’s platform and tools to ensure accessibility for everyone.
Why accessibility matters
Globally, the more than a billion individuals with disabilities translates to USD8 trillion in disposable income, and according to Accenture research, organizations that hire and retain people with disabilities make 28% more revenue than their counterparts. The research highlights how inclusion efforts lead to increased innovation, improved market share and shareholder value, increased productivity, and improved company morale.
Accessibility is also becoming a mainstream customer business requirement, particularly for public sector customers, where accessibility solutions and expertise are a key point of market differentiation.
As part of our #BuildFor2030 campaign and our focus this week on accessibility, I want to recognize partners that are empowering people with disabilities and creating a more accessible world.
Partners enable culture change for greater inclusion and accessibility
Partners are leading the way in helping customers and their employees make the most of accessibility tools within Microsoft 365, Office 365 and Microsoft Teams to optimize remote work and advance change management. Culture change is essential to digital transformation and inclusive technology builds cultures of digital inclusion. Here are a few examples of partners enabling accessibility today:
Changing Social’s accessibility and digital inclusion services explore what it means to be a digitally-inclusive organization, including how to make work easier for all using Microsoft 365.
CPS provides effective change management and adoption services, marrying capabilities of Power Apps, Power BI and Microsoft 365 to enable inclusive cultures and increase productivity in your organization.
Hable enables customers to leverage accessibility features in Office 365 by providing training in change management and Office 365 accessibility, with accessibility guides and assets for inclusive workplaces.
Minttulip helps private and public sector organizations build strategies and business cases to understand and maximize their technology spend with diversity, inclusion and digital accessibility in mind.
Phoenix Software delivers accessibility and collaboration solutions to help organizations with change adoption and management, including tools to rapidly deploy Teams.
Protiviti delivers accessibility audits, website reviews and recommendations based on accessibility testing and compliance guidelines and provides recommended resources and tools for remediation.
Zensa offers comprehensive accessibility testing, consulting, and engineering services, and its Prospur solution provides an accessible CRM solution for small businesses built on the Microsoft cloud.
Recognizing partner innovation: the #BuildFor2030 campaign
As part of our #Buildfor2030 campaign, we’re proud to showcase partner solutions and services that align to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 8: Full and productive employment and decent work for all. You can find a host of other accessibility-focused solutions and services currently showcased on our commercial marketplace—both Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace.
#BuildFor2030 highlights technology that enables an inclusive economy, creating opportunities and positive business outcomes that align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development goals. The campaign was launched in conjunction with International Women’s Day and featured female founded partner organizations, in support of SDG #5: Gender Equality.
Do you have a solution that supports the UN’s Sustainable Development goals? Nominate your solution here to be considered for a future feature as part of the #BuildFor2030 campaign.
Help us build an accessible future for everyone
Partners can begin their accessibility journey with the Accessibility in Action badge, which is now available to anyone seeking to gain fundamental accessibility concepts, skills in creating accessible content and an introduction to Microsoft accessibility features and tools.
Help us build the solutions and services to enable a more accessible future for everyone. Learn more about our annual Ability Summit, Microsoft Accessibility and about Microsoft’s AI for Accessibility grant program.