Microsoft Corp. is offering a package of free online tools and training courses to help developers in any industry create applications and Web sites accessible to persons with disabilities and to enable business leaders to make more strategic technology decisions.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company originally built the tools and courses to increase accessibility awareness and expertise among its own developers. The tools, courses and an accessibility resource guide are available at  Most of the resources also are available on a compact disk.

The seven training courses include a general overview for technical and non-technical audiences, a development overview, and five courses covering Windows platform technology. The courses are applicable to a wide range of businesses, government agencies and nongovernmental organizations, according to the vendor.

Microsoft conducted pilot programs with Hilton Worldwide, Lloyds Bank, Humana Inc., the U.S. General Services Administration, National Information Agency in South Korea, the city of Constanta in Romania, and nongovernmental entities such as Vision Australia.

--Joseph Goedert


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