Microsoft 365’s newest assistant will point out when you make stuff less accessible

The Accessibility Assistant will begin rolling out “in the coming weeks” and will eventually replace Microsoft 365’s current Accessibility Checker. | Illustration: The Verge

Imagine if Clippy didn’t suck and instead made genuinely helpful suggestions to ensure the content you create is accessible to as wide an audience as possible. That’s the idea behind a new tool Microsoft announced today at its annual Microsoft Ability Summit. The new “Accessibility Assistant” for Microsoft 365 office software is like a spelling or grammar checking tool that will instruct users on how to prevent and correct accessibility issues in real time when creating content.

A new person-shaped icon will be used to flag the location of accessibility issues across your work, such as low contrast between text and background — the most frequent accessibility issue that occurs in Word documents, according to Microsoft. The Accessibility…

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