Microsoft–What a Trip!
During this year's DO-IT Summer Study program, the Phase I Scholars went on a day trip to Microsoft. We learned that Microsoft is open to accommodations that their employees need and have resources available to assist them. For example, we met an employee who was blind. His guide dog and cane help guide him through the Microsoft campus. In addition, Microsoft provides guides for those with vision impairments so they can be involved and contribute fully to meetings. We also met two employees who were deaf and one who had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The man and woman who were deaf receive most of their projects and communication from colleagues through email. At meetings, Microsoft provides interpreters for employees who are hearing impaired. The employees with disabilities at Microsoft do their jobs like everyone else; they may just have different ways of doing things.
Microsoft buildings were accessible and have plenty of elevators. They also have automatic door openers, which allow for easy access.
After lunch, we visited the Museum Room to look at old products as well as new gadgets that Microsoft has recently come out with. These included the Zune mp3 music player and software that could tell your personality by the way you write. (It was very accurate!) We also went to the Futures Room, which showed what kind of technology people may have inside their homes in five or ten years. In this room, there were small gadgets that would be helpful for taking notes in high school or college. Finally, we said our goodbyes, loaded the bus, and headed back to the U.W. campus for dinner and a relaxing night.