Beijing, 11 May 2022 – Microsoft China, Xiaomi Group and the Shanghai Youren Foundation have announced a partnership to promote inclusive design and accessible technology in China. The three parties jointly released a Chinese version of the Inclusive Design Manual, which is based on the Microsoft Inclusive Design Manual and combines Xiaomi Group’s accessibility and inclusive smartphone and AIoT design practices, as well as the Youren Foundation’s experience in accessibility advocacy. They will also empower 1,000 developers to learn and implement the concept of accessible design and provide digital skills training for people with disabilities, in order to expand their employment opportunities.
“Accessible technologies are the key to opening up opportunities across all of society. Microsoft is committed to developing and encouraging the adoption of accessible technologies and concepts around the world to unlock more – and better – employment opportunities for people with disabilities,” said Ahmed Mazhari, President of Microsoft Asia.
“The concept of accessibility is no longer limited to the physical sense. With the arrival of the digital economy, digital skills are required across all aspects of life.
“In Asia, especially in China, the digital economy is booming and the demand for accessibility is even stronger. We are honored to join hands with Xiaomi Group and the Youren Foundation. We hope to share Microsoft’s experience and successful practices in the field of accessibility with a wider range of Chinese users, and together empower people with disabilities to achieve more.”
Alain Lam, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Xiaomi Group, said, “Xiaomi has been actively performing its corporate social responsibilities by paying attention to and participating in the cause of support for the persons of disabilities, as well as expanding work platforms and possibilities for everyone. Simultaneously, Xiaomi’s smart hardware products, such as smartphones and AIoT, place a premium on the research and implementation of accessibility features. We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft China on improving the user experience of accessibility products and contributing to the advancement of accessibility technologies.”
Gaoshan Fu, Director of the Shanghai Youren Foundation, said, “The Youren Foundation has always focused on the development of people with disabilities supporting, advocating the construction of an accessible environment, empowering people with disabilities to improve their abilities of independent living and employment, and working with stakeholders to promote the value of disability integration and best practices. Through this cooperation with Microsoft China and Xiaomi Group, we hope to leverage the power of these two technology powerhouses and combine it with our own rich experiences to enhance the information accessibility abilities of ICT industry practitioners, improve the digital skills literacy and employment competitiveness of people with disabilities, and help them better integrate into society.”
The Inclusive Design Manual is the first guide to inclusion released in China by a technology company. It aims to provide companies and developers with a comprehensive body of knowledge to guide them through strategy development, product development, and design, to enable accessibility for people with disabilities across various situations. The manual explains the principles of inclusive design, including identifying exclusion, learning from diversity and benefiting the wider population. Inclusive design is an approach that empowers diversity, as it seeks to bring about products that are physically, cognitively and emotionally accessible to everyone, lowering the barriers to entry for all groups to participate in society.
With the publication of the Inclusive Design Manual, the three parties hope to generate greater discussions around accessibility and inclusive design, and to make this philosophy a reality. The collaboration scope includes:
- The creation of accessible products that meet the needs of people with disabilities, using the Inclusive Design Manual as a guide. The parties call on all types of enterprises to embrace accessible product development, design, production, and sales, integrating the principles of information accessibility and listening to feedback from people with disabilities to enhance the user experience.
- Digital skills training for people with disabilities via the Skills for Jobs program, a partnership between Microsoft and the Youren Foundation which leverages their extensive experience and resources in the field of disability and accessibility. The program will enhance employability and help them explore a wider range of employment opportunities, while creating a more equal and inclusive employment environment.
- Training to empower 1,000 developers to understand the concept of accessibility in-depth and incorporate it into their product design process to achieve accessibility at source and reduce inconvenience caused by design.
Digital skills play an important role in removing barriers to communication, interaction and information. Microsoft seeks to push the boundaries of its products and services, using its technology, resources and platform to work with more companies and organizations and realize the shared commitment to accessibility. Digital skills can enable a more inclusive and accessible society and create an accessible future for people with disabilities.
To learn more, visit Inclusive Design Manual (Chinese version) to read the full-text.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
About Xiaomi Group
Xiaomi Corporation, founded in April 2010, is a consumer electronics and smart manufacturing company offering smartphones, Internet of Things (IoT), smart TVs and other consumer electronic products and services. Its mission is to relentlessly build amazing products with honest prices to let everyone in the world enjoy a better life through innovative technology.
About Shanghai Youren Foundation
Shanghai Youren Foundation was founded by China’s largest OPD, OnePlucOne Disability Group on November 8, 2016. The Foundation is approved as a non-public foundation and credited as a charity by Shanghai Department of Civil Affairs. The Foundation is certified with the tax-exemption and tax-deduction qualification as a non-for-profit organization and charity organization. The vision of the Foundation is to enable the marginalized communities to live with equality and with dignity with the culture of “rationality, authenticity, and warmth”.
The Foundation has three main areas of work, Disability Development, Philanthropic Partnership, and Public Education. As a mentor for people with disabilities, an inspirator for the public, and a partner of organizations alike, Youren Foundation is committed to promoting the sustainable development and social inclusion of the disadvantaged and the collective value-building of disability inclusion.