March 2019 AURC Newsletter

Accessibility User Research Collective

News, Events, and Resources

March 2019

Spring is in the air!

Thank you for being a part of our network of individuals enhancing the accessibility and usability of Microsoft products and services. The Accessibility User Research Collective (AURC) is a network of consumers, researchers, developers, and engineers. Please let others know about us at

AURC Program Update

In our continued efforts to incorporate the needs of users with disabilities into design, engineering, and research at Microsoft, over the last few months AURC members with various disabilities have provided feedback on Office, Xbox, and Artificial Intelligence products. Recent AURC projects include consumer feedback on the:

  • Xbox Assist app, which is accessed on the Xbox console and on the mobile phone by individuals with blindness or very low vision

  • Windows Insider Program “design quests” conducted during the 19H1 Bug Bash Event by individuals with blindness or very low vision

  • Use of video conferencing by people with autism

  • Text-to-speech/speech-to-text features by individuals with deafness or who are hard of hearing

As Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella has stated so well: “While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more.”

Share your opinions

Currently, we are conducting a survey that is open to all members in our AURC database. The goal of this new survey study is to learn more about the current needs and perceptions of AURC members as we work toward improving the accessibility and usability of Microsoft technology. Study duration will take about 10 minutes. Participants who complete the survey will be entered in a drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card. There will be 10 winners. Please click the following link to complete the survey:

Talking Topics

NEW! Microsoft Accessibility Megaphone is a quarterly publication of what new accessible technology is now available to customers. Check it out and stay up-to-date on all the latest and greatest.

AI for Accessibility grants:

Are you a person with a disability? And are you passionate about inclusiveness? Become one the several individuals to apply for a grant through the AI for Accessibility grants program. To learn more about AI for Accessibility Grants 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 websitewhere you can look for jobs and get connected with our hiring community.

Thank you,


NIcole Thompson, MPH
Director of Operations
Accessibility User Research Collective
Shepherd Center
Atlanta, GA 30309