Microsoft expands its accessibility efforts on Windows 10
Microsoft is keen on making sure people with disabilities can use their products, and next year it’s only going to expand upon that directive. It starts with some big additions to Windows 10 and Narrator for the Creators Update like support for braille, some 10 news voices for text to speech and volume ducking when Narrator chimes in while you’re listening to Spotify or another music program.
Narrator will also dovetail better with the Edge browser too, making it easier to fill out forms and navigation via heading levels. On Xbox One (that’s a Windows device too, remember?) you’ll be able to tweak how fast Narrator speaks and the pitch of its voice.
If you were worried that Office 365 would be left out, those fears were unfounded. Next year, the productivity suite will make it easier to create stuff that’s accessible by people with disabilities. That includes an AI boost from its Computer Vision Cognitive Service that makes it ” easy to insert alternative text descriptions for images and meaningful display names for hyperlinks, as well as making the accessibility checker available in more Office applications”. There are a few other bits and bobs like a read-aloud while simultaneously highlighting text option and a tool that breaks words into syllables for easier reading.
Those last bits are already rolling out to Office Insiders and people in the First Release programs. Everyone else is just going to have to be patient until next spring, it sounds like.