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Windows 8 and Accessibility -

Many of us are aware that Microsoft is preparing the next version of its Windows Operating System (OS). for those of us interest in assistive technology the big question is what they are building in the the new OS in terms of its accessibility. Here’s a few pieces of the jigsaw that I’ve discovered recently.

Let’s start with what Microsoft themselves are saying in the form of Jennifer Norberg, a senior program manager lead on their HID team.

Enabling accessibility – Building Windows 8 – Site Home – MSDN Blogs


One of the areas where we have worked to deliver an even greater level of innovation is in ensuring that Windows 8, particularly the new Metro style experience, is accessible to everyone regardless of their physical abilities.

There’s a slightly more technical description from Anandtech:

AnandTech – Microsoft Discusses Windows 8 Accessibility


about Windows on ARM, the Building Windows 8 team is back to discussing the nuts and bolts of the operating system – today, Microsoft’s Jennifer Norberg discusses enhancements made to accessibility tools in Windows 8.

The guys at Indiana Assistive Technology Blog have a more impartial discussion:

Windows 8: Taking accessibility a few steps further ยป Indiana


Windows 8 is looking to make its accessibility features even more accessible. From voice over to screen magnification, the operation system has been improved with all users in mind. Still working with Windows 7? Have no

InvestorPlace is even positing that blind users may be able to do withoutscreen readers such as freedomscientific’s Jaws. I’m not holding my breath but talke a look and decide for yourself:

Microsoft Pushes Windows 8 Accessibility Improvements for


If the accessibility options for the visually impaired are well executed, Windows 8 could replace popular screen reading solutions such as JAWS from Freedom Scientific, which retails for nearly $900 for the standard version,