Microsoft Build Conference 2023 Session Summary: Development with Accessibility in Mind

Updated May 25, 2023

The session was conducted by the Visual Studio team on how to develop applications while keeping accessibility in mind for end users. Later, the Q&A was conducted to help resolve issues in accessibility to make product development more inclusive. Dante Gagne, the main lead of the session, is a Senior Product Manager on the Visual Studio team with 20 years of Experience at Microsoft. His strongest passions are in User Experience and Accessibility. He spends much of his time engaging with customers to understand their experiences. He shares the insights gained from his customer interactions with his engineering team.

Watch the Q&A Session in full.

The second speaker was Anna White. She works at Microsoft on the Intune team. Anna has been coding since she was 12 years old. As a person born without a right hand who experiences chronic arm pain, she hopes to make coding fun and pain-free for everyone. The speakers were the right choice for this session. They discussed how features like audio, spell checking, autosuggestion and IntelliSense revolutionize the experiences for users with disabilities like ADHD and Dyslexia.

The session started with Dante explaining the lack of accessibility in application building among engineers. In recent years, accessibility is becoming more of a priority. The presenter then moved to Visual Studio (VS) and discussed how accessibility is being incorporated within Visual Studio. Integrated Accessibility Checker is among the many new features that has been added to Visual Studio, which promises to help developers make more accessible applications.

Next, Anna White shared her experience regarding accessibility while using software applications. She highlighted some valid points that help a broad range of users enhance their experience when working with software applications, especially IDEs.

The Q&A session was more of a discussion that aimed to encourage participants to embrace inclusive development as a vital part of gaining more insights from customers.

Accessibility helps everyone. It provides value beyond the original scope. Making features more accessible in UI helps reduce mental fatigue and cognitive load. By eliminating barriers for those who are significantly disabled, your products can be hassle-free.

Iron Software is currently researching accessibility to improve our own product offerings. If you have ideas you would like to share, join us on Slack.

Find out how Iron embraces a more diverse workplace.

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