A new interview with Microsoft's chief accessibility officer gives perspective on inclusivity efforts

Xbox Adaptive Controller
Xbox Adaptive Controller (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Wall Street Journal's Experience Report interviewed Jenny Lay-Flurrie.
  • Lay-Flurrie is the chief accessibility officer of Microsoft.
  • She offered insights on accessibility and how it can improve, both at Microsoft and in general.

In a new interview published by the Wall Street Journal's Experience Report vertical, Microsoft's chief accessibility officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie provides a look at what accessibility means and sheds light on how Microsoft spotlights it internally.

Many items are covered in the interview, including how accessibility efforts at Microsoft were handled in the past and what they look like now. Before, the CAO was based in a single product team and had to communicate to other teams from within that one. Now, accessibility efforts are handled much like any other company-wide effort in that they're handled from the top of a pyramid and extend into different branches of the organization from there.

Other key takeaways are that Lay-Flurrie is focused on ensuring Microsoft's autism hiring program initiative reaches different parts of the globe and that the company's supported employment practice is expanded. These are all part of the company's increased commitment to expanding accessibility over the next five years.

The CAO also gives general advice in the interview for how companies can improve their own accessibility efforts, emphasizing that for these efforts to be fully realized, they need to be part of bigger design initiatives from the ground up instead of being hastily assembled afterthoughts.

The full interview is a great read, so check it out. And for updates on Microsoft's moves to increase accessibility, keep it tuned to Windows Central.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.