IBM and Microsoft collaborate on accessible MS Office assessments

This month, October 2015  is National Disability Employment Awareness month.  In honor of the 70th anniversary of this day, I’m very pleased to share that IBM and Microsoft are announcing a new solution through IBM Kenexa Assess on Cloud that will allow job applicants to complete workplace assessments of Microsoft Office through accessible simulation technology.  Typically, these assessment simulations have been inaccessible to people who are blind or have low vision because it uses images to represent Microsoft Office through HTML5 and thus cannot be replicated in the same manner for screen readers.

To make these simulated tests equivalent and accessible for all, IBM developed a first-of-a-kind cloud based assessment solution that integrates Microsoft Office with JAWS and MAGIC software remotely, while giving the user the same experience as if it were running on their local machine

IBM and Microsoft both have a long-standing commitment to accessibility and came together to resolve this challenge by agreeing to make the licensing free for all users.  In addition, Freedom Scientific adapted their licensing infrastructure to enable JAWS and MAGIC users to remotely access IBM Kenexa Assess on Cloud and Microsoft Office using their own computers without incurring additional licensing costs.

This creates an accessible solution that can be a model for inclusive assessments around the world and demonstrates the importance of industry leaders coming together to ensure equal access to products and services for people of all ages and abilities. The new accessible assessments will be available before the end of the year.

If you’re at IAAP Las Vegas go check our solution in the booth and say hi to Jon Busa and Amanda Tullio!

IBM and Microsoft Collaborate on Accessible Office Assessments

 

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