(Photo credit: Microsoft)

(From CNET) — My first brush with accessibility tech was with closed captioning.
Like most people, I took it for granted and mostly ignored it as a setting on my TV. But one day, when I was fed up pausing my movie for the billionth time because an ambulance was blaring down our street, I decided to turn it on. Over time, it changed the way I watch TV — to the point where I miss it when it’s not there.

This is the ideal for people like Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Microsoft’s head of accessibility. She doesn’t just want the world to accommodate people with disabilities, she wants technology just to get better, and as a result benefit disabled people. (read more)


The sentiment of this essay is earnest in its intent. Members of the disabled community are benefiting greatly from an accessibility technology. However, it also is somewhat problematic. The point of contention relates to messaging of the last sentence above. It tends to minimize the real time need for nondisabled folks to focus on persons who are disabled. Albeit aspirational in tone, the statement suggests accessibility game controller technology should be a mere byproduct of overall design enhancement for everyone rather than a specific human rights issue for persons with disabilities. A minor point? Not when it comes to anti-oppression work. The Beyond Diversity Resource Center believes specific emphasis must be directed at mechanisms and conditions that contribute to both the achievements and disappointments that cause and affect disparities in our society.

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