Made by Dyslexia pledge signed by Microsoft

The tech giant is the first company to sign the agreement, hoping to help dyslexic students the world over through technology

This week, Microsoft has announced that they are the first company to sign the Made by Dyslexia pledge to empower the 700 million people around the world with dyslexia, empowering every student to achieve more with technology. This announcement was part of the first ever Made by Dyslexia Global Summit which was hosted at BAFTA, London on Monday night and supported by Microsoft.

To coincide with the Global Summit, Made by Dyslexia and EY has released the Value of Dyslexia report. Key findings include:

  • In today’s classrooms, it is estimated that one in five students has dyslexia, yet there are likely far more who have not yet been diagnosed
  • Only 3% of the public believe dyslexia is a positive trait
  • Dyslexic students are often mistakenly labeled as having a learning disability and as such, make up approximately 70-85% of today’s special education classes
  • Their teachers and parents – despite a passion to help – often don’t have the resources or training to do so, and without the proper support in their formative early years, a struggling student’s confidence and love of learning can fade.

In answer to this report and the improvements which need to be made, Barbara Holzapfel, Microsoft Global GM of Education, announced that Microsoft will work with the charity to help create, facilitate and scale digital solutions to support all dyslexics. The new features by Microsoft include: 

Identifying dyslexic learners early

  • Develop free training materials for teachers and parents to help them better recognize and support dyslexic learners
  • Technology for Early Intervention. Microsoft is working with top researchers and partners in the dyslexia community to identify ways to use technology for early intervention

Supporting dyslexic students

  • Expand our Microsoft Education Products that support dyslexic students. Products like Learning Tools are free to educators and students and already helping more than 14 million people improve their reading and writing comprehension. We will be rolling out a series of new updates that will help students to:
    • Write with their voice using speech to text in our free Office web apps
    • Better engage in group discussions in Flipgrid using Immersive Reader
    • Improve math performance with math equation read-aloud in Immersive Reader
    • Use Immersive Reader in their native language with real-time translation
    • Build confidence and comprehension with new tools stemming from research with the University of Washington to explore new phonemic awareness capabilities
    • Browse web content more easily with new accessibility updates to the Edge Browser
    • Capture text from anywhere using OfficeLens for Android to take a picture of the text so it can be uploaded into Office and read with Immersive Reader.

You can hear Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft talk about Microsoft’s progress with Learning Tools using Microsoft 365 here. 

You can read more on Microsoft’s Pledge here.