Earlier this year, we made a commitment as a business to play our part in closing the disability divide and addressing inequalities in how individuals with disabilities can access technology.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we set a target taking a cue from the tech giant and its five-year commitment “to help decrease the gap in education, employment and access to technology for people with disabilities around the world.”
Our goal was to ensure that 50% of our workforce had completed Microsoft’s Accessibility Fundamentals training by the summer of 2021. And we are delighted to announce that we hit and exceeded this target, making us among the first partners in the world to have such a large portion of our people trained in this course.
Accessibility: Tech for everyone
At Content+Cloud, we believe that everyone should have the same access to technology products and the benefits they offer. No individual has the same set of needs – many people across the world live with a disability, which means they aren’t able to access tools in the same way as others.
Tech products that increase accessibility are known as assistive technology (AT). An AT product could be a piece of equipment or software which increases the usability of a product. Microsoft offers a wide range of AT to assist users, across its suite of devices and programmes.
Microsoft Accessibility Fundamentals training
There are several reasons why we chose to direct our people to Microsoft’s Accessibility Fundamentals training above other courses in the field.
First of all, it was created with the intention to help users of Microsoft’s products – millions of people around the world – to get the most from features that already exist.
Secondly, it’s a free accessibility training course, available to all, which can be found through the Microsoft Learn platform.
The course uses a combination of media such as written explanations, video content and questions and is split into four main modules:
- Introduction to disability and accessibility
- Microsoft Accessibility features and tools
- Creating accessible content with Microsoft 365
- Digital accessibility
Our people’s feedback
Feedback on the course from our colleagues was overwhelmingly positive and includes the following.
“I was sceptical about doing the course and truthfully started it as a tick-box exercise. The training encourages you to learn more, it was very interesting, a good way to learn as well about D&I. I am now recommending this course to people!”
“It was a great course, very useful and raised my awareness of things I didn’t consider. This helped me to consider a wider audience and be more inclusive, which is a great thing.”
“This is really something that improves our overall perception when creating new documents.”
“If only this kind of empathetic thinking was an essential subject at school.”
Over 95% of those that took the course also felt that the training gave them a better understanding of accessibility in both the workplace and everyday life.
Did the training give you a better understanding of accessibility in both the workplace and everyday life?
Our team also said that, on the whole, they now feel confident in incorporating accessibility features into the technology they use in their everyday life.
How confident are you in incorporating accessibility features into the technology you use in your daily life?
Train your people in accessibility
If your business is taking steps towards a target, making a commitment to accessibility or if you would like to simply browse the course on a smaller scale, Microsoft’s Accessibility Fundamentals training is available here for free.