Welcome AURC Members--- AURC Program Update

 I want to personally thank all of you for joining the AURC and providing feedback to Microsoft. You are helping improve the products and services and shaping the future direction of inclusion at Microsoft. We will be sending out quarterly newsletters to: 1) let you all know how your feedback on the AURC projects have impacted Microsoft products and 2) give you up-to-date information on Microsoft Accessibility. Being an AURC member means you get a sneak peek into what we are working on and what may be coming next!

 AURC Program Update

There are currently 824 people with disabilities in our national database! We have a pan-disability community in the AURC and Microsoft is excited about hearing from you. We are increasing the voice of the customer into design, engineering, and research at Microsoft through this community program with you - our users. As part of our design process, we obtain input from consumers through AURC projects.

 To date, we have completed 19 projects providing feedback across the company among the Office, Windows, Xbox and Microsoft Research and Artificial Intelligence teams. Some of our most recent projects include consumer feedback on:

·         Text to speech and speech to text in Xbox

·         Ridesharing and Way Finding applications

·         Screen reader and virtual assistant technology

Featured Project: Windows Narrator  

AURC members provided feedback through usability testing and survey input. The study focused on Microsoft Narrator, the screen reader built into the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Below are some findings from the study:

·         Most participants were satisfied with using Narrator to carryout tasks that involved applications found on the computer/desktop, such as finding and launching the calculator app and finding and opening a Word document

·         Tasks that involved using the email application and internet were a little more challenging for some users

·         Individuals with greater experience using a keyboard and other screen readers had more success navigating the necessary actions to complete tasks

·         Simple and familiar keystrokes, such as Alt + Tab to switch between open applications and Windows Key + L to lock the computer were perceived positively and deemed user friendly

What is Microsoft saying about the AURC?

The AURC is truly an opportunity to hear from you, the consumer. Feedback from you has helped to:

·         Educate us on user needs and wants, specifically those of people with disabilities

·         Inform us about the challenges some people with disability may have with certain products

·         Prioritize our work flow, by supporting and validating design development

·         Give us confidence that we are working on the right things

·         Build more empathy at Microsoft for people with disabilities using our products

What we want to know ….

Do you have low vision? Are you an accessibility specialist? We want to hear from you. Please click the follow link and to answer a few questions: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AURCAELV

Windows Insider Program

Learn more about how everyday people like you are engaging with Microsoft to build better products through this program https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DSghE_Ctx8

Microsoft Accessibility Resources

We are happy to share resources to help you learn more about Microsoft Accessibility.

·         You can always stay connected on Twitter. Our handle is @MSFTEnable and Megan Lawrence @accessgeo.

·         NEW! We have a new website for you to discover Microsoft’s inclusive culture and Accessibility in Windows, Office, Xbox, and more.

·         The Microsoft Accessibility Features Sway outlines the accessible projects we have by disability type. Now you can easily discover what kind of technology we have for you and your community.  

·         Inclusive hiring and reducing the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is top of mind for Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Microsoft Chief Accessibility Officer. Don’t miss our inclusive hiring website where you can look for jobs and get connected with our hiring community.