Microsoft chief accessibility officer talks about adaptable tech

Microsoft’s chief accessibility officer wants to create tech usable by everyone

30 MAR 2015

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Microsoft’s chief accessibility officer, Robert Sinclair, has told Mobile World Live why the company became the first in the industry to establish such a role and how the issue of accessibility has come to encompass more than just people with severe disabilities.

According to Sinclair, accessibility initially meant accommodating people who had disabilities but the company realised that “what we need is not separate technology for people with disabilities but technology that is usable by everyone,” regardless of whether they have a disability, an injury, or are part of the ageing population.

“This has changed the scope and understanding of accessibility and made it much more relevant,” he added.

And as the industry has embraced flexible and personal techonology, many people who use “mainstream” technology also make use of accessibility features such as big font sizes or the dark colour scheme option for using the screen in sunlight.

Microsoft is working with partners to “create technology that is smart enough to adapt to users and their environment,” he said.

He also said Microsoft was the first in the industry to create the role of a chief accessibility officer, which involves advising engineering teams internally on their technical strategy while working with partners and policy makers around the world regarding what they need from Microsoft.

To view the full interview, click here.


Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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