Microsoft donates $1m of software to foundation for the blind

Microsoft donates $1m of software to foundation for the blind

Increases focus on user accessibility by releasing add-ons for visually and hearing impaired users.

Microsoft New Zealand has donated over $1 million of Microsoft software to the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB). The donation of Dynamics CRM and SharePoint software was made to assist the RNZFB manage member information and foster collaboration within the organisation.

“We’re delighted with the incredible donation of software from Microsoft. We rely on the generosity of the public for around two-thirds of our operating budget, so this contribution will go a long way in helping us continue to provide support to our members,” says Sandra Budd, CEO of RNZFB.

A spokesperson for Microsoft told CIO staff members have volunteered their time and expertise to help deploy the systems for the RNZFB.

Microsoft has signalled an increase in focus on user accessibility by releasing two new add-ons for its Office suite to help the visually and hearing impaired.

Users of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint can convert documents into a new format called Daisy, which will make them compatible with Braille readers as well as being read aloud by a computer.

Microsoft’s Stamp format will help the hearing-impaired by giving them the option to add closed captions to video files in PowerPoint, this will be available in every Microsoft supported language including English and Te Reo.

These two add-ons are free to download, with more information on the Microsoft website.

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