Mohammed Arif, Windows Business Group Lead at Microsoft Gulf
Every person, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Technology has the power to help, levelling the playing field for those with special needs.
It was with this in mind that Microsoft partnered with Al Noor Training Centre for persons with disabilities in Dubai to upgrade the Centre’s IT infrastructure.
As part of our “Upgrade Your World” campaign, we are upgrading more than 150 computers at the Centre to Windows 10. The new operating system offers several programmes and settings to make computer work easier and more comfortable for people with disabilities.
Al Noor’s mission is to provide the children at the Centre with opportunities through professional training and care so they can easily integrate into the wider community. Features like Windows’ basic screen reader, Narrator, which reads aloud text that appears on the screen, and Speech Recognition, which allows the children to control the computers with their voice, are the first step in giving them easier access to the training they need.
There are also other programs and hardware that are compatible with Windows 10, such as screen readers and Braille output devices for the visually impaired. Even simple settings like magnifying the display, adjusting the colours or removing unnecessary animations can make a big difference.
When I last visited the Al Noor Centre, Isphana Al-Khatib, Director at Al Noor Centre, told me that Windows 10 is helping their students and staff find new ways of applying IT in their daily activities. It is wonderful to see this first-hand – how grateful the children are and how they can be empowered through Assistive Technology.
As we continue towards our goal to empower every person and every organisation to do more and achieve more, we feel we have found an ideal fit with Al Noor and the work they are doing. In this light, we will also be partnering with the Centre for the Al Noor Assistive Tech-x 2015, taking place on 12 and 13 November at Al Noor Indoor Sports Auditorium in Dubai. The exhibition will focus on improving functional capabilities of people with special needs. The upgrading of the Centre’s IT infrastructure is just the first step to achieving this.
We are excited to continue on this journey to giving everyone the opportunity to reach their full potential with the help of technology.