BIMA X Microsoft Masterclass | Accessibility

By Ant Boyle
17 Jun 2020

We recently welcomed Hector Minto, Senior Technology Evangelist at Microsoft & Emma Goddard, Experience & Inclusive Design Lead at Deloitte Digital UK to discuss how & why businesses can do more to embed accessibility as a core development factor. Here, we list the key takeaways from the session and next steps for those looking to make the change. You can watch the entire session with Hector & Emma here.

Key Takeaways:

We need to move the conversation away from just compliance – 

We are not just asking businesses to create accessible options out of just requirement, we need them to join and be passionate on our journey in making an inclusive & accessible future. We need to redefine our view on disability away from addressing someone’s personal health conditions towards a view that disability is a concept of mismatched human interactions.  Once we do that we can start to bake accessibility into everything that we do. 

Ai can be a huge help 

Satya Nadella recently spoke about how he pictures the endless possibilities that Ai holds when it comes to accessibility. As Ai continues to advance to be able to hear, see, process etc., there is a real opportunity to find a sweet spot of innovation where tech carries a lot of the load that people with disabilities sometimes face when interacting with the world around us. We should also be putting those people with those disabilities at the forefront of this innovation and get them learning about what Ai can do for them.

Understanding the POUR Principles

The POUR Principles are a set of key features that must be in place to create a successfully accessible product, they are:

Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This means that users must be able to perceive the information being presented (it can’t be invisible to all of their senses)

User interface components and navigation must be operable. This means that users must be able to operate the interface (the interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform).

Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable. This means that users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface (the content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding)

Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. This means that users must be able to access the content as technologies advance (as technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible)

There are clear Business & Value Cases

Obviously there is a strong moral case for baking in accessibility and almost any company will be open to incorporating accessibility when they are presented the option to, but it is important to understand there is a clear business case as well. There are over 1 billion people around the world living with disabilities, a group who have $6.9 trillion in buying power. 

There is value to add to your team also. We know that people who live with disabilities have a twice as high unemployment rate as those without. By employing those with disabilities to help build accessibility in your products, you can help unlock that business opportunity to its full extent.

Accessibility training on MS Learn

Microsoft’s learning platform is now available to everyone to begin their journey with inclusive design:

You can find out more about Microsoft’s approach to inclusive design as well as the various features that they have deployed in their products in the following links:

Watch the entire masterclass on accessibility and find out more below:


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