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Technology and digital applications often create roadblocks for those who need accessibility modifications. However, many companies are taking note that the global audience is made up of people with varying needs – and are starting to ensure the technology they make can adapt. With the increased attention on digital accessibility laws, it’s an encouraging sign that these companies are leading the charge and implementing accessibility standards in their popular products.

A laptop with three images each showing a different woman smiling. At the bottom of the screen, there are small chat bubbles showing a conversation.

Image credit: Tech Crunch

Skype & PowerPoint

One company that is working hard to stay true to their mission of providing increased accessibility is Microsoft. Both PowerPoint and Skype will be getting real-time subtitle and caption capabilities. This is a great step toward helping those with hearing impairments to use both applications more efficiently. Whether someone in a business meeting and watching a presentation or an elderly grandmother wants to call her grandchild, these captions can change how clearly everyone is understood.

You can watch Microsoft’s video on the new PowerPoint features here.


Another excellent app feature to note is Instagram’s inclusion of alternative text. Since the platform is photo and video-based, the addition of alt text will allow content creators to add descriptors and make their content more inclusive. Now that screen readers can communicate the description of each image; the platform will be accessible to many new users.

Here’s a quick guide to adding alt text on your Instagram photos.

1. Before you click ‘Share’ on your post, go to the bottom where it says ‘Advanced Settings.’

    An Instagram settings menu screenshot with the “Advanced Settings” option circled.

2. Select ‘Write Alt Text’ at the bottom of the screen.

    An Instagram Advanced Settings menu screenshot with the “Write Alt Text” option circled.

3. Add your image description and click ‘Save.’

    A screenshot of the Instagram Alt Text input area.

4. Share your post as usual!