Microsoft Highlights The Future Of Accessibility Online

Posted by Anna on October 26, 2016 at 5:17 pm. ADA, Consumer Advisory Board, Video Description, WCAG

Kelly sits at a desk next to his laptop.

Earlier today, Microsoft held their Windows 10 Event, a two-hour presentation of new products and features from the technology giant. Microsoft began with a video that underscores the importance of accessibility in the design process, stating: “We don’t build Windows 10 for all of us. We build Windows 10 for each of us.” While the video features how Windows 10 will be improved for people across a range of disabilities, it does a fantastic job of showcasing the enhancements for blind and low-vision screen reader users.

Senior Program Manager, Kelly, who is blind himself, is shown using Windows Narrator on his laptop with the voice sped up to increase efficiency. He says, “So right now we’re at about 80% of capacity of how Narrator could speak. And this is about how I would use my computer. That probably sounds like gibberish, but once you get used to this, it’s pretty quick.”

Most people are unfamiliar with screen reader technology, so it’s wonderful that Microsoft used a high-profile event to give greater context for its application. In past Consumer Advisory Board meetings, CaptionMax has asked its members to listen to different speeds of video description to help us determine how fast our narrators should speak when they record to optimize for quality and efficiency.

Text video description is another option that serves as a full alternative to the video, making it accessible to blind or low-vision individuals with screen reader technology¬†and allowing them to choose their own speed. For several years, CaptionMax has provided text video description, also known as a “media alternative,” as a service for our clients who want to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A standards for their online video content.

We make media accessibility easy for our clients. In addition to helping them understand which services they need to become compliant and reach a wider audience, we offer the increased efficiency, security, and quality of having it all done under one roof. To learn more about WCAG 2.0 compliance, contact

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