Accessibility Tools are Coming to More Programs to Aid Students


Image Source: U.S. Department of Defense 

Students with disabilities are just as likely to pursue STEM fields as their peers.  Technology design standards are becoming increasingly more accessible for all students.  Major tech companies like Google are already looking into making their programs easier to use by disabled folks. Currently, Google has accessible features like extensions for Google Chrome, voice commands and keyboard shortcuts for their G Suite apps.

Similarly, educators at California State University are becoming aware of how they integrate PDFs into their curriculum.  They are trying to make use of Adobe software’s built-in accessibility checker that will let students know if a certain file does not contain support for people who are disabled.  Mainly, it will point out if texts or images are unable to be read or described out loud by assistive technology.  Likewise, Microsoft is trying to introduce new technology to make Microsoft Word more accessible to those who are visually or cognitively impaired.  They claim, “At Microsoft, we envision a future where people with permanent disabilities or situational limitations have the technology they need to work efficiently and independently from any device”.  They are already rolling out with regular updates to their software, adding things like accessible templates, image description controls, and even accessibility checkers in the Review tabs for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and Visio.

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