Free online accessibility training for developers
Friday, 18 March 2011

Microsoft has made a set of accessibility training resources freely available online with the aim of raising both awareness of accessibility issues in the developer community and its expertise in devising helpful solutions. 

 

A recent Forrester Research study commissioned by Microsoft found that 57 percent of working-age computer users (18-64 years old) would likely benefit from accessible technology due to difficulties and impairments that can affect their ability to use a computer. Given an aging population, the proportion of computer users with age-related difficulties such as low vision and arthritis in increasing and many people rely on accessibility settings to personalize their computing experience or to compensate for an injury, environmental condition or other temporary circumstance.

Microsoft Accessibility Tools & Training is a set of online training courses for developers that raises awareness of disabilities and age related difficulties and provides guidance as to how technology solutions can mitigate their effects. Originally intended for Microsoft's i-house developers these resources have now been made available online and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Developer Center.

There are seven module in the course: a general overview suitable to both technical and nontechnical audiences, a development overview, and five units covering the Windows platform technology, including Windows Forms and the Windows Presentation Foundation. With this content, developers can focus on a range of topics, from general accessibility development to specific technologies, such as Silverlight. Content on Web-development topics, such as ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) and HTML 5, is also available. 

You can download the entire course as a CD.iso image or view each module online.   

More Information

Microsoft Accessibility Tools & Training

 

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