Appropriately on global accessibility awareness day (GAAD), Microsoft launches a new games controller.
“The Xbox adaptive controller features two large buttons for hands, elbows or feet, as well as 19 ports to accommodate extra devices including mouth-operated ‘sip and puff’ quadsticks” more details here and here
Over the last few years, Microsoft has taken the lead, making accessibility an important product attribute across its portfolio, rather than merely a compliance requirement. All the industry could learn from Microsoft here.
People with disabilities have the same rights as the rest of us, we should build technologies that are inclusive. While the laws and standards are finally getting to a point where the compliance pressure is growing, we shouldn’t need laws to force us to do the right thing.
Technology, when designed inclusively, is a force for liberation. It enables jobs, friendships, fun, and freedom. When it is built narrowly, it isolates, it discriminates, it undermines.
Those of us who build software and technology wield great power. We should build it kindly, thoughtfully and inclusively.