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August 3, 2010

The 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

I’m a week late posting about this but I felt that it’s such an important topic that I should go ahead and still post despite being late. 20 years ago last Monday, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. With current estimates of 20% or more of the U.S. population having some level of disability, I thought it I would take a moment to highlight some of the work we’ve done in Windows 7 to make it universally accessible to everyone including those with disabilities. Microsoft considers it a high priority to make our software accessible to those with disabilities.

Product groups across the company invest a lot in developing technologies that enable PCs, applications, and the web to be accessible regardless of disabilities. With Windows 7, we did a bunch of work to improve accessibility features in Windows 7. You can read this blog post from E7 that discusses some of the engineering work we did in Windows 7 to improve accessibility – not just with our own built-in accessibility utilities but also to make it easier for others to build their own with accessibility software for Windows 7. Internet Explorer 8 also brought improved accessibility for browsing the web.

For more information on accessibility features in both Windows 7 and IE8 – I suggest checking out our Accessibility at Microsoft website. On this website, you will find tutorials and demos of many of the accessibility features in Windows 7 and IE8 today. You can also find a list of accessibility products for Windows that can help people with all types of disabilities. It is an excellent resource for all the work we’re doing here at Microsoft on making our products accessible to everyone.