December 2018 AURC Newsletter

Happy Holidays!

As 2018 comes to a close, we want to thank you once again for being a part of our efforts to enhance accessibility and usability of Microsoft products and services. The Accessibility User Research Collective (AURC) is our network of consumers, researchers, developers, and engineers.

We continue to work together to positively influence the accessibility and usability of technology. Please let others know about us at

AURC Program Update

We are making progress to ensure that the needs of users with disabilities are incorporated into design, engineering, and research at Microsoft through the AURC. In the last few months, AURC members have provided feedback across the company’s products, including the Office suite of productivity applications, Windows operating system, Xbox and Artificial Intelligence. Recent projects include AURC consumer feedback on the:

  • Process of joining the Windows Insider Program

  • Consumer experience during the national test of the public alerts and warnings system in October 2018

  • Identifying challenges and strategies for navigating city environments by persons with a disability

Talking Topics

The AURC also provides an opportunity to be engaged with what’s new and what others are talking about. Below are just a few items of interest. Please share with others.

  • In the spirit of the holiday season, Microsoft has released its 2018 Holiday Ad: Reindeer Games featuring Owen and the Xbox Adaptive Controller

  • You can learn about the behind the scenes story of Owen and of Microsoft Xbox Adaptive controller

  • NEW! Microsoft provides captions and subtitles in real-time in PowerPoint and Skype – powered by artificial intelligence.

  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says artificial intelligence (AI) can make the world more inclusive

  • Review: A New Look at the New Narrator, Microsoft’s Built-In Windows screen reader. Learn how it has improved significantly.

Windows Insider Program

Become one of the several people helping to build better products. Join the Windows Insider Program, an open software testing program where people have access to pre-release builds (new software versions) and provide feedback to the developers and engineers on their user experience.

To learn more about joining the Windows Insider Program, please go to the following link:

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.

CHECK OUT our 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.