Re: Making progress on accessibility with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update | Microsoft Accessibility Blog #article

Pamela Dominguez

How can you give something a chance when you can't do anything with it
except make it say its name? Pam.

-----Original Message-----
From: RJ Sandefur
Sent: Saturday, July 02, 2016 1:41 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Making progress on accessibility with the Windows 10
Anniversary Update | Microsoft Accessibility Blog

I am not usually one to use this type of strong language, but really?
How do you think NVDA and Jaws got to where they are? Feedback! Let's
all give narrator a chance. Microsoft alone won't make the screenreader,
but together, the end users,(Us the blind community) will make Narrator
a screenreader which could even beat out voice over if we really wanted
it bad enough. RJ

On 7/2/2016 1:19 PM, Marie wrote:
I find Narrator useful on occasion, but it is far from being a full
screen reader and I would hate it if they made it like the Apple
devices where it is your only choice.

-----Original Message----- From: Carlos
Sent: Saturday, July 2, 2016 5:33 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Making progress on accessibility with the
Windows 10 Anniversary Update | Microsoft Accessibility Blog

If they are going somewhere with Narrator, then they should simply
release a
major upgrade when it is ready to be used as a full-blown screen
reader. At
this point it is wasted effort to introduce these minor changes since
it is
still not functional enough to be used by most on a daily basis.
introducing features that most people probably won't use because there
is a
better free alternative seems like effort that could be more productively
invested somewhere else for now.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeremy" <jeremy.richards7@...>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, July 02, 2016 8:00 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Making progress on accessibility with the
Windows 10
Anniversary Update | Microsoft Accessibility Blog

Yeah, but they might be going somewhere with it which we don't know about
just yet. Some of the features discussed in the article seem as though
may have been influenced by general screen reader tech.

They might first want to start with the Windows OS then ultimately
create a
VoiceOver competitor for future Windows devices.

With technology advancing as it does, why not accept the help from one of
the biggest computer software developers in the world? Furthermore, this
development might yield discoveries which will help with other related
disabilities experienced by an aging population.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of
Sent: Saturday, July 02, 2016 4:03 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Making progress on accessibility with the
Windows 10
Anniversary Update | Microsoft Accessibility Blog

And honestly, the focus on Narrator seems like wasted time and somewhat
excessive in my opinion. How many people really use Narrator on a daily
basis? The fact is that most users only run Narrator in an emergency
or to
finish setting up Windows. It is useful and convenient to have, but for
most it does not provide enough functionality to be used as a primary
reader. These days those who cannot afford one of the expensive screen
readers will most likely use NVDA. And Narrator has a long way to go
it can compete with NVDA. That being the case, I believe their time and
effort would be better spent on improving accessibility in other
areas. If
NVDA did not exist, then the efforts to improve Narrator might seem more
significant, but again in my opinion at this time, it just seems like

----- Original Message -----
From: Gene <mailto:gsasner@...>
Sent: Saturday, July 02, 2016 6:23 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Making progress on accessibility with the
Windows 10
Anniversary Update | Microsoft Accessibility Blog

I have defended Microsoft for years when I thought they deserved it.
I will
not defend them in their accessibility implementation of accessibility in
Windows 10. My thoughts on the blog entry are below.

Almost a year after Windows 10 has been released and Microsoft is still
dealing with some of the kinds of things discussed in its blog? Being
passionate about accessibility means not waiting a year and still having
significant accessibility problems. Being passionate about accessibility
means having reasonable accessibility at the time of initial release.

And please stop patronizing those who provide feedback. It isn't
incredible. It's useful and good feedback but incredible? You aren't
accomplishing anything by heaping excessive praise on those who provide
feedback but patronizing them. We don't want to be called incredible nor
our feedback. We want implementation and at a much faster and better
And does some of this feedback really have to be given in order for
you to
know about it? Since the nineties, Windows screen-readers have routinely
offered speech that can go faster than 430 words per minute. If your
accessibility team really needs user feedback to be aware of the need for
fast speech, then what else is the team unaware of that should be common
knowledge to anyone working in the field of accessibility?

----- Original Message -----

From: Christopher Hallsworth <mailto:challsworth2@...>
Sent: Saturday, July 02, 2016 1:06 AM
Subject: [TechTalk] Making progress on accessibility with the Windows 10
Anniversary Update | Microsoft Accessibility Blog


Making progress on accessibility with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

With more than one billion people with disabilities in the world,
Microsoft is passionate about accessibility and ensuring our products
for all our customers. Today we are excited to share additional details
about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update which represents a significant
step forward in our effort to make Microsoft products accessible. We
encourage anyone already running Windows 10 to upgrade when the update
becomes available. We also recognize that we must continue to invest in
accessibility and are committed to the continued improvement of built-in
features like Narrator and Magnifier as well as the accessibility of
experiences and apps like Cortana, Mail and setup. If you are a user of
Assistive Technology and are still using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and
to wait to upgrade, don’t forget that you will still have the
to upgrade at no cost even after the Windows 10 free upgrade period
We will have a page available on July 29 for people using AT to take
advantage of the free upgrade offer.

We have already shared many of these details with our Windows Insider
program over the last several months, so this blog post will recap those
areas and share a few new things. Customer feedback through the Windows
Insider program and from our users with disabilities has been
essential to
helping us focus our work in several key areas. These include improving
the screen reading experience with Narrator, the accessibility of
experiences and apps like Microsoft Edge, Mail and the Start menu, as
as better tools and resources for developers to build more accessible
and experiences.

Improved Screen Reading with Narrator

As we’ve stated in a series of recent blog posts, a lot of changes with
Narrator that you will see as a part of the Windows 10 Anniversary
were directly influenced by your incredible feedback. Those changes

Faster text to speech voices

We’ve added new voices to Narrator that offer a much faster top rate of
speech. Our current voices average a maximum of roughly 400 words per
minute. The new voices average nearly twice that at approximately 800
words per minute.

New languages in Narrator

We continue to add new international languages for Narrator, including
Arabic and several Nordic languages. The following new languages will be
available either with the corresponding international version of Windows
or will be available for download.

Spanish (Mexico) French (Canada) Portuguese (Brazil)
Arabic (Egypt) Catalan (Spain) Danish (Denmark)
Finnish (Finland) Norwegian (Norway) Dutch (Belgium)
Dutch (Netherlands) Portuguese (Portugal) Swedish (Sweden)
Turkish (Turkey)
More familiar keyboard navigation

Keyboard commands in Narrator are now more familiar to users of other
screen readers. Some keyboard interactions have been simplified to
better ergonomics, making them easier to type.

Introducing scan mode

We’ve introduced a new navigation mode to Narrator called Scan mode.
Mode is turned on with a press of CAPS LOCK and SPACE. While you are in
Scan mode you can press SPACE to activate an item of interest, such as
following a link on a web page or pressing a button in an app.

Six levels of verbosity

Narrator now supports six levels of verbosity for giving you more
about the characteristics of text. You can cycle through these modes by
pressing CAPS LOCK + CTRL + (PLUS). For example, at what we call Verbose
mode 0 (zero), you will hear just the text. At verbose mode 1, you might
hear if the text is a heading. At other verbose levels, you will get
varying indications of other text properties, like text color or

Punctuation Modes

Narrator now gives you more control over how much punctuation you hear
when reading text. CAPS LOCK+ALT+(PLUS) and CAPS LOCK+ALT+(MINUS) cycle
through the settings for punctuation. The settings for punctuation
none, some, most, all and math along with default.

Now announcing AutoSuggest results

Many applications in Windows 10 offer automatic suggestions as you enter
information. For example, when you start entering a search term in an
application search box you may get suggestions based on what you are
entering. With Narrator you will now get a verbal hint with an audio
indication when these suggestions are available.

Feedback made easy

Pressing CAPS LOCK + E + E when running Narrator is an easy way to
send us
feedback. This shortcut will bring up a feedback form where you can
comments and suggestions about your experience with Narrator.

User guides and documentation

Our documentation team has been working hard to update the resources
available to those who are learning how to use Narrator. We are looking
forward to providing improved and more complete documentation like an
updated Narrator user guide that will be available online when the
Anniversary Update is released.

Working to make apps and experiences more accessible

Along with many of these accessibility updates to Windows 10, most of
app teams have also been making regular updates. Below are a few of the
notable highlights.

More accessible browsing and reading with Microsoft Edge

In a series of blog posts, the Microsoft Edge team has been providing
detailed updates on their accessibility progress. For example, the team
has already shared how work to support modern web accessibility
is helping developers more easily build accessible sites. And with the
introduction of Microsoft Edge’s new accessibility architecture, we are
working to make Edge a more inclusive and reliable experience for
everyone. The team has also been working closely with the most popular
third-party assistive technology vendors to guide them through the
transition to this new platform.

In addition to the work the team has already shared, we are also excited
for you to try the improvements to the end user accessibility experience
of the Microsoft Edge app and PDF reader. These include broad support
tagged PDF files, and a wide range of improvements to common daily
browsing features such as address bar, tabs, windows, and favorites.


Since the initial release of Windows 10 last summer, there have been
improvements to the accessibility of the Mail app. The Mail team
many of these updates in a blog last February and has since that time
continued to make progress on things like improving the account setup
experience when using a screen reader.


You can more reliably operate search and Cortana with the keyboard,
including things like navigating using arrow keys and tab order.
There are
also Improvements to high contrast that make the Cortana UI more legible
in all contrast modes. The team has also made a number of general fixes
that improve the experience with Cortana when using accessibility tools
such as Windows Speech Recognition, Narrator and other screen-readers.


The Groove team has delivered a number of key updates for low vision
like better support for high DPI scaling and better high contrast
including better color combinations and the boxing of text when
on top of album art. In addition, the team has done work to make the
app a
better experience when using a screen reader by adding a number of new
shortcut keys as well as fixing a number of bugs when using Narrator.

Making accessibility easier for developers

In addition to the progress being made with our apps and built-in
accessibility features we have been making investments in the tools and
reference materials that developers rely on to create accessible
experiences within their apps and websites. Here are a few developer
resources we have already made available or will be a part of the
10 anniversary Update.

New Tools

Developer tools are essential to making accessibility just work. The
Visual Studio App Analysis tool was updated to helping devs to find,
triage and fix accessibility errors like flagging controls that don’t
an accessible name. We also introduced a new developer mode in Narrator.
Narrator dev mode can be turned on when Narrator is already running by
pressing SHIFT + CAPS LOCK + F12. When dev mode is turned on the screen
will be masked and will highlight only the accessible objects and the
associated text that is exposed programmatically to Narrator.

XAML Improvements

The XAML team has improved the support for Mnemonics within Universal
Windows Apps (UWA’s) allowing for better Access Key customizations. For
example, the developer of a shopping app can now assign a custom Access
Key like P, that can be activated by pressing ALT then the letter P, in
order to activate the purchase button.

Improved Documentation

And finally the team has worked hard to improve the discoverability and
update the documentation we provide for developers. We recently
the accessibility developer hub as well as general design guidelines and
sample code for accessibility.

Most importantly, your feedback is imperative to getting accessibility
right. Keep letting us know what accessibility features are important to
you. If you are already running Windows 10, you can simply press CAPS
+ E (two times) to bring up a feedback form when using Narrator. Or, if
you are technically minded, you can help us by becoming a Windows
and giving us feedback on the latest updates to Windows as we are

Previous Blogs and Resources:


Further Details on the Coming Improvements to Narrator in Windows 10

Improvements to Narrator in Windows 10

Making Windows 10 and Office 365 more accessible: Our path forward

Accessibility Update for Windows 10 Mail

Accessibility and the Windows 10 Free Upgrade

Microsoft Edge

Ensuring high-quality browser accessibility with automation

Building a more accessible user experience with HTML5 and UIA

Building a More Accessible Web Platform


Accessibility Design guidelines

Accessibility Developer Hub

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