Apple Highlights Global Accessibility Awareness Day With Front-Page Feature [Updated]
Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, an event that promotes inclusion and access to technology for anyone with a disability. As it has over the past few years, Apple is marking the day by updating Apple.com in the United States and a few regions around the world with a message promoting accessibility: "Technology is most powerful when it empowers everyone."
On the Apple.com front page, visitors are encouraged to explore more accessibility features, which is linked to Apple's existing accessibility page. The page doesn't appear to have been updated yet this year; it highlights areas where Apple helps users with disabilities related to vision, hearing, physical and motor skills, learning, and literacy.
On the accessibility page, Apple highlights its short commercial from 2016 about real people with disabilities who use its products in everyday life, narrated by Sady Paulson, who uses Switch Control on a Mac. Otherwise the page showcases Apple accessibility features like VoiceOver, Live Listen, Switch Control, and more, with the help of products including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and HomePod.
In years past, Apple celebrated Global Accessibility Awareness Day with a series of "Designed for" videos that highlighted interviews conducted between CEO Tim Cook and three accessibility activists. Apple has also previously held a Stevie Wonder concert at One Infinite Loop and hosted global events promoting inclusive design at Apple corporate offices in Cupertino, Austin, Cork, and London. The company also usually holds accessibility-related Today at Apple sessions at its retail stores.
Update: Apple is also highlighting accessibility on the iOS App Store today, featuring stories about developers who build iOS apps to help people with disabilities.
The stories discuss apps like Proloquo2Go, Strava, Audible, djay, Ready to Roll, and more. They can be found on the "Today" tab on the App Store on iPhone and iPad.
The company has also shared a new press release that focuses on California-based photographer Rachael Short, who takes fine art photographs exclusively using the iPhone. Short suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident nine years ago, and now uses an iPhone XS to capture images. She used to carry multiple cameras and a variety of film around, but loves the mobility and ease-of-use the iPhone affords her after the accident.
“I couldn’t imagine being in my situation even 15 years ago without my iPhone,” Short says. “Technology has changed so much in that time. It just opens up so many possibilities for people with disabilities and limited mobility. It’s my camera, it’s my email, it’s my photo editing, it’s ‘Hey Siri, do stuff for me.’ It’s everything.”
Apple also confirmed that it is hosting events around the world to promote inclusive design and emphasize technology that works for everyone.