The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Changing Goals at Microsoft

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Introduction Following the amendment and reauthorization of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Microsoft Corporation began an initiative to research, develop, and market software, hardware, systems, and services that would assist and appeal to people with disabilities. The corporation also turned its attention to attracting, hiring, and retaining people with disabilities who have the qualifications to work at Microsoft a division for accessibility and disabilities was formed by the company. The goal going forward was to make valuing diversity and accessibility an article of faith at Microsoft. Leadership and Management Challenges Corporate culture is a difficult thing to pin down. It is continually in a state of flux, elusive, and unspoken. Although corporations make it a practice to declare their mission and values, these are not the same as the corporate culture. Regardless, these elements of strategic planning may be articulated as culture and may even find their way into expressions of corporate culture. Corporate culture, in the words of Microsoft, is "unspoken, unconscious, and"¦implicit" (Microsoft, 1977, p. 16). The commitment that Microsoft made to accessibility and diversity, within its company and with regard to its products and services, is carefully and deliberately articulated and aims for integration into the "collective consciousness" of the corporation. There is within Microsoft, as one would assume with any other corporate entity,

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