Unterschleißheim, 17 October 2008. Along with the demographic changes and the increasing importance of the Internet, there is a growing need to ensure that people with visual impairments and reading problems get the same access to information as all others. In light of this issue, the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE) and Microsoft Germany have performed a study that investigated the potential of the Microsoft technologies User Interface Automation (UIA) and Silverlight for people with physical disabilities. In different scenarios developed by Fraunhofer IESE, both accessibility and usability were tested. The study presented today shows that the "average" user should no longer be the determinant for IT development. In order to enable barrier-free access to information technologies and to the Internet for elderly people and people with physical disabilities such as visual impairments or reading problems, these people’s needs must already be considered upfront during the design of the interfaces. Only "Universal Design" or "Design for All" can guarantee the same access to information for all users in the long term. New technology platforms such as Silverlight are already an important contribution towards this end. The goal of the two strategic partners is to implement further scenarios on the basis of these technologies.