American Sign Language at Microsoft

Accessibility can mean many things but for the community, it means to be able to get assistance, support, direct services, among other things using our native language. American Sign Language is the native language of millions of Americans and the second language of millions more but it is the native signers that Microsoft is targeting when they started up their ASL line. 

Microsoft has an American Sign Language line staffed by people that are native signers. 

The ASL support lets people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing get assistance for using Microsoft products in general, as well as assistive technologies such as screen magnifiers, speech recognition software and their devices’ accessibility settings.
— Microsoft Blog

The line is currently available from Monday through Friday 8 AM - 5 PM PST. For those that have used the ASL line, they have come to appreciate being able to utilize the line for their company, personal laptops, or computers. Microsoft also provides support for Xbox so even if you don't have a computer but a family member has a Xbox gaming console, be sure to utilize the service as well!

How do you find the ASL line on the Microsoft Website? 

From Google, search for Microsoft Disability Answer Desk, and click on the first link which will lead to their disability answer desk page. Scroll down to the very bottom and you will see their video phone number. 

If you are currently experiencing difficulties and it is during the week, go ahead and call the Disability Answer Desk, 503-427-1234. 

Sometime during your call, you will be given a case number. Be sure to save that case number in case your issue has not been resolved. A former Microsoft Answer Desk employee who asked to remain anonymous said that Microsoft really cares about making sure their lines are accessible so utilizing those surveys to let them know what else you would like to see be added to their products, websites, or even feedback on the agents is important so don't skimp on those surveys. Not everybody will get a request for one so watch out for them and fill them out if you do get a request.