The COVID-19 has resulted in schools shut worldwide, and billions of students are currently relying on digital platforms for learning. With this sudden shift away from the traditional classroom environment, there are obvious downsides to it, and one of these is related to accessibility.
In a recent blog post, Microsoft has taken the opportunity to share information about a new bot for Teams designed to support remote work/learning. Named Accessibility Bot, this app has been developed by a Microsoft partner Future Worx, which specializes in digital workplace transformation. The free bot has been helping students and staff members at Imperial College London, and around 30,00 Teams users are currently using it.
“We wanted to make a helpful bot that would be used by as many people as possible,” said Steve Giles, Director of Sales at Future Worx. “So one thing we decided early on was that the bot would only collect anonymised data about the questions it is asked, so we can improve the responses. It really exists just to help people collaborate and communicate in a way that suits them.”
According to Microsoft, it allows people with situational or temporary accessibility needs to understand all accessibility features across Office 365, Edge, and Windows 10. The digital helper can benefit users by responding to their requests like reducing background distractions, turning on live captions for Teams meetings, and Focus Assist.
Overall, it’s a great productivity tool that enables users to get the most out of Teams and boost their engagement in online meetings or classrooms. Download the accessibility bot now via this link, and let us know how you’ll be using it, too.