One of the largest tech companies in the world will be demonstrating how technology can be accessible to everyone this week.
Microsoft is kicking off their Ability Week on May 29 and it will run until June 2. Microsoft stores across Canada and the U.S. will host workshops and other events designed to show how the tech giant is doing their part to make gaming and technology a more inclusive space.
The events cover a wide range of topics and are not just for those with disabilities, as Ability Week also has events for kids and video game enthusiasts as well.
For example, there are events such as Blind & Low Vision Day, Mobility Day and Deaf & Hard of Hearing Day. There’s also an intro to coding with Minecraft for children, how to build a robotic finger, and a time trial challenge for the Forza Motorsport 7 racing video game.
Microsoft stores in larger city centres will boast more Ability Week events than others, so head here to find a store close to you and see what kinds of events may be featured. Some stores, such as Vancouver’s Pacific Centre location (which sits below one of Microsoft’s global innovation centres), will also showcase tech from other companies including Tobii Dynavox, a Swedish tech firm that offers eye tracking and control devices.
Microsoft has been championing accessible technology a lot over the past years. In fact, earlier this month they released an adaptive Xbox controller that can be customized for those living with disabilities.
Accessible tech has been a focal point for both private companies in Canada and the government over the past years as well. In December 2017, the federal government pledged $22 million to give those with disabilities increased access to the digital tools they need to succeed, while companies like eSight and Magnusmode are working to make the world a more accessible place.