AzureFunBytes Episode 55 – Programming for Accessibility with @rorypreddy

Jay Gordon

AzureFunBytes is a weekly opportunity to learn more about the fundamentals and foundations that make up Azure. It’s a chance for me to understand more about what people across the Azure organization do and how they do it. Every week we get together at 11 AM Pacific on Microsoft LearnTV and learn more about Azure.

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This week on AzureFunBytes we’re talking about how to create applications for everyone. Accessibility is the design of products, services, and devices that focus on making environments the most welcome and usable to any user. Different people have different methods they may interface with the applications you create. By focusing in on accessibility earlier in your software development process, you make for a more available product to everyone. What software developers create should include considerations for vision, hearing, neurodiversity, mobility, and even mental health. Through the use of assistive technology, AI, and cognitive services we can strive to consider all of our differences in order to improve accessibility.

To help me further understand the benefits of accessibility in our software development, I’ve tapped Senior Cloud Advocate Rory Preddy for some help.

Our agenda:

  • Accessibility concepts
  • Achieving accessible milestones
  • Measure and automate
  • Tooling

00:00:00 – Intro
00:02:32 – Microsoft Accessibility video
00:05:29 – Let’s meet Rory
00:15:35 – Accessibility is about improving everyone’s quality of life
00:20:28 – What is Accessibility?
00:22:48 – The Hydra
00:25:42 – Disability does not equal personal health condition
00:28:44 – How legislation impacts Accessibility
00:31:41 – Persona Spectrum
00:35:42 – Tools for improving Accessibility
00:36:39 – Demo time
00:41:36 – Shifting left with DevOps
00:45:50 – Immersive Reader Demo
00:51:57 – Enabling better image recognition
00:54:42 – Conclusion

Here’s a description of what we cover in Rory’s own words:

“My life is a hilarious roller coaster of miss-intended programming bugs because at 4 foot tall and 65 kilograms I completely fall off your radar.

What did my scale call me! Why does facial recognition see me as a child? These are all valid questions I often ask myself as I navigate my weird and different world. Have you heard the phrase “You have to be this tall for Micro-services”? well, what about: “You have to be this tall to operate a mobile phone?”. I am finding it harder and harder to reach any button except for “#” and “9”.

Building accessibility into the planning stages of programming can eliminate barriers for participation and create an inclusive environment for people with disabilities. Programming for diversity serves as an unquestionable indicator that your software embraces the diversity of your users and cares about their safety and comfort.”

So check out this important session that Rory was kind enough to take part in and let’s make our software experiences glorious for everyone!

Learn about Azure fundamentals with me!

Live stream is normally found on Twitch, YouTube, and LearnTV at 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET Thursday. You can also find the recordings here as well:

AzureFunBytes on Twitch
AzureFunBytes on YouTube
Azure DevOps YouTube Channel
Follow AzureFunBytes on Twitter

Useful Docs: Get $200 in free Azure Credit
Microsoft Learn: Introduction to Azure fundamentals
Microsoft Learn: Accessibility Fundamentals
Microsoft Learn: Digital accessibility
Microsoft Learn: Configure Microsoft Teams meetings and calls for inclusion
Experience the web as personas with access needs
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview
Computer Vision
Speech Translation
Accessibility Insights Tools
Accessibility Technology & Tools – Microsoft
Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie: Stories from inside Microsoft’s journey to design a more accessible world
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