RESOLUTION 2010-19

Accessibility and the Microsoft Corporation
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2010-19

SUMMARY:

1. This organization absolutely espouses the notion that people who are blind or have low vision have a right to expect and receive the same consideration as do others as to the immediate usability of software that is being developed for use by everyone.

2. This organization hereby calls upon Microsoft to make accessibility built into the product itself for people who are blind or visually impaired a guiding design principle of their operation.

3. This organization shall accomplish this by making accessibility an inherent component of the design of any and all products that Microsoft is developing.

4. The Information Access Committee of the American Council of the Blind is hereby instructed to enter into discussions with the Microsoft Corporation so as to make clear the specifics of what this resolution expects.

WHEREAS, the Microsoft Corporation is responsible for producing a wide range of operating systems for use on servers, desktop and laptop computers, and entertainment and mobile devices; and

WHEREAS, the American Council of the Blind has worked closely with the Microsoft Corporation over many years to try to build a collaborative relationship so that the needs of people who are blind and visually impaired are clearly understood and are incorporated into software that is being released by that corporation; and

WHEREAS, time and time again, the Microsoft Corporation has released products that are designed in such a way that it is necessary for third-party software such as screen readers and screen magnifiers to create accessibility to their software; and

WHEREAS, these requirements create a delay in making software usable by people who are blind or visually impaired which can sometimes be quite lengthy and can add significant cost to consumers; and

WHEREAS, the Apple Corporation, beginning with the release of version 10.4 of its operating system known as Tiger, provided accessibility to the whole operating system through the inclusion of a screen reader and a magnification system with all copies of the operating system;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel in Phoenix, Ariz., on the 16th day of July, 2010, that this organization absolutely espouse the notion that people who are blind or have low vision have a right to expect and receive the same consideration as do others as to the immediate usability of software that is being developed for use by everyone; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization hereby call upon Microsoft to make accessibility built into the product itself for people who are blind or visually impaired a guiding design principle of their operation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, to accomplish this end, accessibility be made an inherent component of the design of any and all products that Microsoft is developing; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Information Access Committee of the American Council of the Blind is hereby instructed to enter into discussions with the Microsoft Corporation so as to make clear the specifics of what this resolution expects.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary