Microsoft has been named a disablement Confident Leader for its comprehensive approach to hiring people with disabilities and ensuring they can learn new skills.

The title has been awarded by the UK Government because of Microsoft’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity, as well as its work in encouraging suppliers and vendors to do the same.

The Department for Work and Pensions recognised Microsoft’s efforts to attract and recruit people with disabilities via its global comprehensive Hiring Program and to train managers to understand the inevitably of those with non-visible disabilities. It besides noted Microsoft’s flexibility when assessing people for roles so those with disabilities have the best chance to show they can do a job, adjust works to include sign language interpreters and ensure all staff have access to disablement equality awareness training.

The company has worked with the Government to enhance digital inclusion and accessibility in the public sector, and help the Department for Work and Pensions embrace comprehensive design.

Anne Taylor, a woman who is blind, uses a braille keyboard with a Surface device
Microsoft has worked with the Government to enhance digital inclusion and accessibility in the public sector

Clare Barclay, Chief operational Officer at Microsoft UK, aforesaid: “At Microsoft we believe that diversity and inclusion leads to better acting teams and higher quality output, leading to better and more applicable products and experiences for our customers. By empowering people to be the best they can be, the culture that is created by those belief and principles feeds through to our partners and customers.

“We’re proud to be a disablement Confident leader, and are committed to up our approach to portion people with a disablement thrive at work, as well as encouraging our 30,000 partners, who play so much a polar role in driving change in the UK technology industry, to do the same. We hope that by sharing our learnings, other organisations can accelerate their disablement inclusion programs and hire great talent. Together, we can reduce the state rate for people with disabilities.”

Microsoft besides has a well-established worker Resource Group focused on accessibility, which passively works with staff to support them in their career. galore environmental and work adjustments companies can implement are cost-efficient, piece staff can play a role in fostering a culture of diversity and inclusivity.

Microsoft’s products besides have constitutional features that help people with disabilities, so much as reading out text, displaying captions and keeping notifications on screen for thirster. It has besides developed the Xbox adaptative Controller, making gambling accessible to more people.

Anima Verma, a Global Service Delivery Lead at Microsoft in the UK, was left with impaired vision following a membrane transplant earlier this year.

“Following the operation, I was very anxious about the impact my vision would have on my work and career,” she aforesaid. “It made me think about all the people who have invisible disabilities and focus on their own, and their company’s, success.

“It was a very difficult situation for me, but the support I received from Microsoft made me feel energised, and I now support and encourage others who have disabilities. Tools so much as Accessibility Checker and Dictate, are now a regular part of my screen time, and with a passion for inclusivity, I have started taking part in trials of new products that help people with visual impairments. So, I’m portion to ensure that future tools are designed with inclusivity at their core.”

Sarah aristocrat, an Enterprise Account Manager at Microsoft, has hearing loss. She uses the Speech to Text function during video conferencing calls to ensure she captures what is being aforesaid.

“Microsoft offers me a accessory environment where the isolation of hearing loss can be somewhat overcome with teams who understand and care,” she aforesaid. “I don’t feel that my hearing loss will hold me back, and I now raise awareness of the need for better subtitling in companies crosswise the UK.”

Learn more about the accessibility features built into Microsoft products

A blue Microsoft Surface keyboard

According to Government figures, 46.3% of working-age people with disabilities are in employment compared with 76.4% of working-age people without a disablement. According to the latest figures, from 2008, 19% of staff with a disablement experient unfair treatment at work compared with 13% of workers without a disablement.

Research from disablement equality charity Scope found that two in five people with disabilities who are unemployed but looking for a job don’t feel confident about their chances of finding one in the next six months. Just over half (51%) of job applications from people with disabilities result in an interview, compared with 69% for applicants who do not have a disablement.

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