Deafblind teen Molly Watt: Apple Watch is very impressive

“I was born deaf and registered blind when I was 14. The condition I have is Usher Syndrome Type 2a. I am severely deaf and have only a very small tunnel of vision in my right eye now so I was concerned not just about the [Apple Watch’s] face size but how busy it would appear to me and also if there would be an uncomfortable glare,” Molly Watt blogs for “I should explain that I wear two digital hearing aids and communicate orally – not everybody with usher syndrome communicates orally and there are not two people with the condition the same, but there are similarities.”

“On the same day I got my watch Mum received hers too. This benefitted the trial use of communication between us. Just by selecting the button underneath the digital crown, you reach your favourite contacts,” Watt writes. “To contact any of my favourites, which are already selected on my iPhone, is incredibly easy. Either speak into the Apple Watch or just sending an ‘emoji’ is also very easy. The speech to text is very impressive… Mum has certainly found benefit in the ‘tap’ for getting my attention when I am in my bedroom without my hearing aids on, I feel the nudge to get a move on or she wants my attention for something. There is a vibration when a text message is received too – Prominent Haptics is definitely awesome for me as a deafblind person.”

MacDailyNews Note: Usher syndrome is responsible for the majority of deaf-blindness. It occurs in roughly 1 person in 23,000 in the United States, 1 in 28,000 in Norway and 1 in 12,500 in Germany. – Wikipedia: Usher syndrome

“Before getting my Apple Watch I would have my phone either in my hand or a pocket nearest to my hand I would rarely feel the vibration from my iPhone and often missed messages. With the Apple Watch on my wrist, I am being notified via Prominent Haptics without issue and I really like that,” Watt writes. “So far for me the most useful App on the Apple Watch is Maps – on my iPhone I can plan my journey from one destination to another, for me it will be on foot with Unis my guide dog. This is where Haptics really come into its own – I can be directed without hearing or sight, but by a series of taps via the watch onto my wrist – 12 taps means turn right at the junction or 3 pairs of 2 taps means turn left, I’m still experimenting with this but so far very impressed – usher syndrome accessible!”

Read more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Molly is amazing — and so is her Watch!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


    1. Wall Street has nothing to do with a product’s usefulness. All that matters is how many of a product is sold whether it’s good or bad. Most analysts would simply say how AppleWatch is useful to this one person means almost nothing. Only Apple concerns itself about products being useful and that’s important to consumers, not Wall Street investors. As a commenter said, there are 300,000 deaf-blind people and as far as Wall Street is concerned those people don’t matter at all and might as well not exist (they can’t move anyone’s needle). I get the feeling that the big players on Wall Street don’t care about anything except how much money they get. That’s the trouble with greed. It makes people lose sight of everything else in the world.

      1. Yeah. It’s nice when technology serves mankind’s various levels of need well, and then just happens to make a boatload of money in the process. At the intersection of usefulness & great design.

  1. There are about 300 000 deaf-blind people around the world.

    If Apple’s efforts for deaf and blind people help them out, then it is highly commendable (though not by media, of course).

    You could not imagine a company like Samsung ever spending so much efforts on such matters.

  2. Good article. It’s awesome when Apple products make such a big difference is people lives. The iPad has made a huge difference, now the watch.

    One thing I found odd about the article is 12 taps = right turn. What’s up with that?

    1. Plus, she is a very pretty and gracious lady. She is so appreciative of those that have been supportive that it makes one pause and think about how much we take for granted.

    2. Molly Watt has truly impressed me with her self knowledge and wisdom. I am looking towards seeing great things from her. Hopefully, Apple can be a part of her progress.

  3. That’s why I had such a hard time about iOS 7 & 8. There were some design changes that made no sense, other than current fashion, that severely impacted blind and partially blind users.

    Many visually impaired iPhone users of iOS 6 had a wonderful experience until they upgraded toy iOS 7 and had to stop using their iPhone.

    The human interface should never be subject to fashion trends. Only make it better AND easier to use or don’t change it at all.

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