Microsoft #BuildFor2030 campaign was launched in March this year. With a goal to increase focus and contribution on building a more accessible future. Microsoft and the partner community have come together to help accelerate, develop, and build foundations and solutions to enhance accessibility, diversity and inclusion. Akari are a proud Microsoft partner helping to build products and accessible solutions.
At Akari, inclusion and accessibility are more than just words; they underpin everything we do and as an organisation who believes in diversity and a level playing field for all, we try to see life through a different lens. Akari are the only Scottish technology company within the Microsoft ecosystem to win one of the Microsoft global awards this year – the Diversity and Inclusion Changemaker partner of the year award.
“At Akari we are striving to level the playing field for everyone and anyone. ADI is a huge step in that journey as it provides access to vital tools, resources and information for those with disabilities including hidden or situational. As it is free to all users there is no barrier to the software or information, and it is inclusive to all. As the parent of a child with HFA I am aware of how important it is to equip people with the tools they need to succeed and ADI is a step forward in ensuring that people can use technology to create a more equal playing field at school and at work.” – Margaret Totten, Managing Director
With a breadth of experience across SME to enterprise organisations operating at global scale we have interacted with differing requirements across commercial, local regional government and healthcare organisations all moving towards the cloud with a renewed focus on bringing staff from office to frontline along on a transformation journey, even more so due to the current global situation with increased home working and reliance on accessible solutions for all. Akari was chosen to be a part of the Microsoft #BuildFor2030, based on our accessible solutions and their impact within organisations.
We use AI to support companies to digitally transform using the latest Microsoft Solutions with a focus on change management, best practice, technical guidance, and inclusive solutions. Within Akari we have developed two solutions focused on accessibility and inclusion these being ADI (Akari Diversity & Inclusion) and AVA (Akari Virtual Assistant).
ADI is designed to answer any questions around Microsoft, accessibility, and wellbeing within the workplace and within learning environments. Alongside helpful resources ADI can help organisations become more inclusive and accessible, ADI provides helpful tips, links, and bitesize videos across Windows 10, Office 365 and Microsoft Teams.
ADI is available for free as a lite version of our award-winning app AVA that can be accessed through Microsoft Teams and uses the latest in cloud technologies powered by Bytes Azure. ADI is there as a tool to help teach you about all the numerous accessibility features built into the Microsoft product stack and will also support wellbeing, access to mental health resources and gives you advice and information on a whole range of topics. ADI can be asked questions such as, ‘How can I support somebody with dyslexia?’ and ‘Where do I find Immersive Reader in Teams?’ ADI will respond with conversational how-to answers, as well as bitesize videos and external resources.
Today’s organisations and businesses rely on digital technology, Akari makes digital inclusion a core focus within the company. We were represented in Microsoft ‘Embracing a Changemaking Culture’ article for the development of our intelligent chatbot AVA.
AVA is a learning virtual assistant which can assist users with common queries and issues. It can be used to onboard staff, answer FAQs and ask for feedback. Using AI, we can identify where a user may require assisted learning or be provided accessible tools. As some disabilities are not visible sometimes this can hinder a person’s abilities within work, education and social environments. AVA works to change that, AVA is an intelligent virtual assistant that uses AI, sentiment analysis and cognitive learning to be a tool for people with and without hidden disabilities to help them meet challenges around collaboration, communication and access to services. Built on Microsoft Teams and hosted in Microsoft Azure, AVA allows users to interact in their own time, across multiple device choices in a way they can feel comfortable with.
At Akari we are taking steps for a more inclusive and diverse environment for all of our staff and continue to plan improvements and solutions for a better customer and employee experience. With Microsoft #BuildFor2030 campaign we can work towards a more accessible future for all. To find more of about ADI, AVA and our other products click here.
To find out more about how you can enhance diversity and inclusion as well as provide resources for employee resource groups get in contact with our team at [email protected]