Microsoft technology to help MS sufferers

26 Oct 2007

Although new research from Microsoft shows how accessibility technology could significantly overcome the visual, dexterity, mobility and cognitive challenges associated with multiple sclerosis, it also found that hardly any sufferers are using it.

Some 70pc of survey respondents said they were interested in using and learning about accessibility technology that would help them cope with their disease while nearly 50pc felt that technology played an important part in living with MS.

It seems that information about specific technology designed to help MS sufferers is not available.

Meanwhile 33pc of those surveyed said they have trouble typing on a normal keyboard but only 5pc had weighed the possibilities of getting a special keyboard or perhaps a voice recognition program.

A further 30pc of MS sufferers reported difficulty in reading text on a standard PC screen with a mere 6pc having adjusted the screen to their eyesight by increasing font size.

The study, titled Staying Connected: An Investigation of How Technology Affects People Living with MS, was carried out by the MS Technology Collaborative, which counts Microsoft as a member.

“At Microsoft, we are dedicated to creating technology that adjusts to individuals’ needs as they change over the course of a day, a year or a lifespan — including those with MS or any other type of condition,” said Rob Sinclair, director of the accessibility business unit at Microsoft.

“We believe that technology will help people with MS maximize their abilities, even as those abilities change.”

By Marie Boran