Accessibility in Microsoft 365

There are no limits to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of everyone. Our products and services are designed for people of all abilities.

At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. With more than 1 billion people in the world with disabilities, there is no limit to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of all those who use it.

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Our accessibility efforts focus on the following accessibility standards (EN 301 549, U.S. Section 508, WCAG 2.0, ISO/IEC 40500). Here is a list of some of the key accessibility features available on Windows 10 and Microsoft 365.

Vision

Need a larger screen? A brighter screen? A narrator to read text? Find out about accessibility tools and features for people who are blind, color blind, or have low vision. Here are some Microsoft 365 features that assist vision.

  • Color filters: Boost contrast or get rid of color entirely—whether you have color blindness, light sensitivity, or a visual preference, with color filters you can customize your screen's color palette.

  • Tell Me: Quickly access commands in several Microsoft 365 Apps without navigating the command ribbon. You can use Tell Me to assist with formatting, discover the difficult-to-find capabilities and even get scoped help in Microsoft 365 Apps using everyday language.

  • Microsoft Soundscape: Use innovative audio-based technology to enable people with blindness or low vision to build a richer awareness of their surroundings, thus becoming more confident navigating new environments.

Hearing

For those who are hard of hearing, have hearing loss, or have deafness, our specialized features can provide solutions including closed captioning, mono sound, and live call transcription. Here are some Microsoft 365 features that assist hearing.

  • Microsoft Translator: Display autogenerated subtitles on a presentation in any of 60+ supported languages with the Presentation Translator add-in for PowerPoint on PCs. Plus, let each audience member follow along with captions displayed in their chosen language on any device with Microsoft Translator.

  • Autogenerate captions in Microsoft Stream: Share videos securely across your organization in an accessible format with Microsoft Stream. Select a simple option, and you’ll get captions and searchable transcripts in English and Spanish autogenerated while uploading videos.

  • Mono audio: If you have partial hearing loss or deafness in one ear, Windows 10 helps you to hear more from your computer. Just turn on mono audio, and your left and right speakers will play the same sounds.

Neurodiversity

Innovative tools such as dictation and Windows Hello sign-in can make the digital world more accessible for those who live with dyslexia, seizures, autism, or other cognitive differences.

  • Focus assist: Block alerts and notifications so you can get things done without distractions. Don’t worry, if there are some people you don’t want to ignore, you can add them to a special list. And when you finish focusing, you'll get a summary of what you missed.

  • Reading view: Use Reading view to clear distracting content from web pages, so you can stay focused on what you want to read. And with Learning Tools in Microsoft Edge you can have documents read aloud to you.

Learning

Our applications for people living with learning disabilities can help increase focus, concentration, and understanding—and include tools to improve reading and writing skills.

  • Immersive Reader: Read more effectively with Learning Tools that read text out loud, break words into syllables, and identify parts of speech. Sustain attention with a focus mode and adjustable spacing between lines, letters, and words. Available for OneNote, Word, and Outlook on various devices.

  • Editor in Word: With Editor, see any misspellings, grammatical mistakes, and writing style issues as you type in Word and Outlook for PCs. Get suggestions for phonetic misspellings, see synonyms alongside suggestions, and have suggestions read out loud to avoid common word choice errors.

  • Text suggestions: Get help constructing sentences with text suggestions. Word suggestions appear, and can be inserted, as you type. It's a great feature for English language learners — and anyone who would like a little help with their writing

Mobility

Our suite of products helps people living with arthritis, quadriplegia, spinal cord injuries, and other mobility issues to navigate the digital world in non-traditional ways.

  • Dictate in Microsoft 365 Apps: Convert your speech to text with Dictate in Microsoft 365 Apps such as Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook for PCs. You can also get the Dictate add-in for Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint for PCs, which supports dictation in 20+ languages and real-time translation to 60+ languages.

  • Keyboard shortcuts: Microsoft 365 Apps is designed to work seamlessly with keyboards. Shortcuts are documented per application to help you get started. Additionally, Tell Me lets you quickly access commands in several Microsoft 365 Apps by typing what you want to do using everyday language.

  • Eye control: If physical disabilities make it difficult to use a keyboard, Windows 10 offers built-in support for eye control—an effective way to use your PC with just your eyes, (eye tracking hardware sold separately).

Mental health

Learn more about assistive technologies for people living with issues such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD, depression, or ADHD. Our products can help with distraction, reading, and concentration.

  • Minimize visual distraction: Windows makes it easy to minimize distractions by reducing animations and turning off background images and transparency. You can also clean up taskbar clutter and simplify the start menu.

  • Focus assist: Block alerts and notifications, so you can get things done without distractions. Don't worry, if there are some people you don't want to ignore, you can add them to a special list. And when you finish focusing, you'll get a summary of what you missed.

  • To-dos: OneNote and Outlook work together to help you stay organized. As you take notes and plan projects in OneNote, you can manage deadlines and remember the things on your to-do list by creating Outlook tasks. Then you can view and track those tasks in Outlook and even get reminders.