5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Microsoft Ability Summit 2021

screenshot of Jenny lay-flurrie along with a sign language interpreter from the let's get started video on the ability summit 2021 website.

This is an exciting week for all of us. Why you ask? Microsoft Ability Summit 2021 is this week, that’s why! The two day virtual event will bring all sorts of diverse people together and enable them to “Imagine, Build, Include, and Empower” and create an inclusive future for everyone.

Ability Summit takes place on May 5 and 6 this year. Over two half days, there will be sixteen breakout sessions covering various topics – from designing for inclusion and improving learning outcomes to inclusive hiring and gaming accessibility. Experts from Microsoft and various industries will be presenting these sessions which will be recorded and offered on demand for later consumption also.

Here are five things you can do to get the most out of this amazing summit!


Even though this is a FREE virtual event, you will still have to register. Head to the Ability Summit 2021 Registration page to register for this two day event so you can access all the sessions and information without trouble.

Sign Up for Sessions

Once registered and logged in to the event website, you will see two options to the right on the “Home” page. Click the ‘“Access Session Scheduler” to see a list of all the sessions and their timings. Clicking “Sign up” next to the ones you want to attend will get you a spot for those sessions and also send you a calendar invite for each session you sign up for. If the list of sixteen sessions seems daunting to scroll through, filter your sessions by the Build, Empower, Imagine, Include tracks.

home page of ability summit website. To the right are two options - Access Session Scheduler and Access Event Platform. There is a red arrow pointing to Access Session Scheduler.

Not sure what tracks to attend? Here’s a description of each track from the Summit website to help you decide which ones you may want to attend based on your interests!

Imagine: Innovating new technologies, leveraging AI, Assistive technology and Inclusive Design.

Build: Making accessibility easier to achieve through tools, best practices, and knowledge sharing.

Include: Growing base of talent with disabilities in the workplace to bring expertise to life in our culture.

Empower: Telling the accessibility story effectively and connecting it to our company mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

You will see all the sessions you signed up for under “My Sessions”.

List ofregistered sessions displayed under My Sessions

Access Session Decks In Advance

From the Home page, if you click the “Access Event Platform”, you will get to another page that has a “let’s get started!” message from Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer and a demo of how to register for this event, sessions, etc. Right below the video is a list of all the sessions. Clicking “Join the Session” will take you to that session’s respective page. If you scroll all the way down, you will see the “Session presentations and resources” section. Clicking view presentations and resources will take you to a page that lists not only the description of the sessions but also links to the session deck (if available) that will be used by the presenters. This is quite useful if you like to know the content in advance.

Watch Sessions From Ability Summit 2020

Last year’s Ability Summit was also virtual and consisted of some really amazing sessions. To get a feel of what the Ability Summit is like (and to learn some really cool stuff from last year!), watch sessions from Ability Summit 2020 below.

Learning Paths

Microsoft has already created some really useful learning paths for a few topics covered during Ability Summit 2021. If you are interested in learning and implementing these principles, you will find the following learning paths useful.

Accessibility Fundamentals
Design with inclusivity in mind
Learn inclusive marketing principles


Microsoft Ability Summit 2021 will be an amazing event with a lot of content, great discussions and a whole lot of empowerment and enablement for everybody. If you are an able bodied person, there is a lot of interesting and enlightening content for you here. This is a great opportunity for all of us to pave a path that leads to a more inclusive future for everyone.

What are you most looking forward to from Ability Summit 2021? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image Source: Ability Summit Website

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