Alejandra Tristan is a 16 year old who has a rare genetic disorder, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), which makes her joints fragile and loose. Because of this, the simple act of typing on a laptop could pop her shoulder, wrist or finger out of its joint, making it difficult for her to connect with her friends, learn new things and others. To prevent dislocations, she has placed splints on her fingers, which makes it virtually impossible to use a mouse or computer.
Thanks to Windows, she is now connecting with her friends everyday, leaning new things, enjoying her art and more. Windows 8 comes with customizable design, enhanced accessibility features and touchscreen. For example, she is now using speech recognition software from Siri.
Rob Sinclair, Microsoft’s chief accessibility officer, says Tristan’s story “hits the core essence of what Microsoft is trying to do philosophically by developing people-centric experiences.”
“It’s really about her,” Sinclair continues. “It’s about us supporting the way she wants to interact with technology to do her homework and communicate with her friends. It’s a big focus of ours, as a company, to give the individual that flexibility.”
Another important part about Tristan’s story, Sinclair adds, is that it challenges assumptions.
“There’s a lot of talk about natural user interfaces. But she explains clearly why it’s so important not to make assumptions about our customers and the way real people use technology in this world,” he says. “Her experience highlights the importance of multi-modal interfaces and the fact that Windows allows her to choose speech input, touch input or mouse input.”
Read more on it here.