Today’s IT departments often find themselves pigeonholed by accessibility – both in terms of employees’ standard capacity to access documents and applications, and in the greater scope of making technology available to individuals with permanent, temporary, or situational accessibility needs.
In both respects, Microsoft SharePoint is leading the way towards creating a powerfully accessible digital office workspace. SharePoint users enjoy a unified, secure platform for employee data access.
SharePoint Accessibility Driving Workplace Change
When it comes to accommodating employee needs, Microsoft SharePoint is the tech industry leader. While originally limited to a document sharing platform that integrates with PowerPoint, SharePoint has gone on to become the focal point of document sharing throughout the Office 365 environment.
As Microsoft notes, it is achieving this goal not only through increased functionality but also through accessibility. It is driving change throughout the digital workplace in four critical areas:
- Predictable Keyboard Navigation: In SharePoint, tabbing navigates through major sections and most major operations have easily accessible shortcut keys. Lists, grids and dropdown menus all respond to arrow keys.
- Intuitive Narration: Users who need audio cues when using software rely on Microsoft SharePoint to tell them what windows they open and what controls they can interact with. Not only that, but the software offers feedback on user actions.
- Color Contrast: Workplace software has long been major issue for visually impaired users, especially concerning the use of color. SharePoint does not rely solely on differences in color to provide information to users, and maintains a standard text size ratio throughout its front-end.
- Documentation: One of the critical elements of any accessibility campaign is creating documentation that delivers useful information and tutorial content to users without relying on less-accessible forms of data.
All of these elements combine to make SharePoint stand out, particularly in the enterprise business space where accessibility earns paramount importance. Accessibility considerations do more than expose processes to people with special needs – they increase productivity across the board by making processes simpler and faster to implement.
SharePoint Is the Future
Microsoft’s powerful and inclusive accessibility campaign indicates that SharePoint will become increasingly important for IT professionals and departments in the near future. While many competing firms have accessibility agendas underway, Microsoft’s strategy of making it a design feature rather than an afterthought serves to distinguish the software in this competitive space.
IT Professionals with SharePoint certification are likely to enjoy better job prospects in the near future as an increasing number of firms migrate to the platform. Nearly any business that makes regular use of Office 365 or any specific Microsoft Office applications will soon have a great incentive to begin using the platform for document storage, processing, and access.
IT departments that are not yet using SharePoint are likely to find themselves migrating in the near future. Gaining familiarity with the platform now can ensure that your IT department – like Microsoft itself – remains firmly ahead of the game when it comes to integrating accessible software.
Centriq is a Gold Microsoft Learning Partner, and a leader in computer training throughout the Midwest. Contact us today to learn about SharePoint certification.