Microsoft is set to launch a line of accessibility-focused peripherals this fall

In context: Many disabilities can make using a computer difficult, if not impossible. There has always been a small industry specializing in designing and developing ways to overcome these obstacles, but they are often targeted. With a relatively new push to make computing and gaming more accessible, companies have created software and hardware to help those who struggle with traditional solutions.

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced that it was working on a line of adaptive accessories to make computing easier for people with disabilities. He has partnered with various accessibility groups and individuals to develop tools designed to meet specific needs.

“Each piece is designed in partnership with the disability community to allow people who may have difficulty using a traditional mouse and keyboard to create their ideal setup,” the company said in a blog post.

The first in the accessibility product line is the adaptive mouse. This accessory has a CPU that users can customize with Microsoft-designed queue extensions and thumb rests. Alternatively, customers can customize their mouse with 3D printed queues and brackets of their own design.

The second is a set of components to replace a traditional keyboard. It consists of a central hub and various accessories, including large directional pads, pedals, joysticks, buttons, and more. users to enter text. These accessories also have replaceable buttons allowing customers to define their own ideal inputs using a 3D printer.

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has reached out to the disability community. In 2018, it launched the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC). Like future PC accessories, the XAC is adaptable and customisable, using 19 3.5mm jacks on the back of the controller to plug in various assistive technologies such as pedals, blower tubes, oversized buttons or inputs. developed by the user.

Microsoft didn’t discuss pricing, but said the accessories will begin shipping this fall. Affected individuals can view articles on Microsoft’s website and sign up to receive notifications when products become available.

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