Apple continues to lead in accessibility awareness and innovation

“Apple is often credited with upending and reinventing product categories by creating breakthrough devices that define their respective markets for years thereafter,” Steven Aquino reports for TechCrunch.

“The iPhone epitomizes this, but a strong argument can be made that Apple has also led a software revolution equally as transformative but without nearly the bang in terms of press coverage,” Aquino reports. “With iOS, Apple has created a rich and diverse set of tools for people with disabilities that enable them to use an iPhone with as much ease and delight as their non-disabled peers.”

“It’s for this reason the accessibility features on iOS are widely regarded as the best in the industry,” Aquino reports. “As it does with everything it touches, Apple continually iterates and refines on iOS’s accessibility features over time… The accessibility software on all of Apple’s platforms empower those with disabilities, myself included, to partake in the experience Apple intends for all users. Put another way, Apple products are inclusive by design. ‘We see accessibility as a basic human right,’ said Sarah Herrlinger, Senior Manager for Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives at Apple.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As they always have.

How a simple Apple feature is changing lives – July 28, 2015
How the Apple Watch is opening up new ways to communicate – May 20, 2015
You know, blind people can actually use touchscreens – January 29, 2015
iPad app brings Braille keyboard to blind users’ fingertips – January 24, 2015
Apple patent applications reveal In-App features, fingerprint scanning enrollment and accessibility inventions – July 31, 2014
OS X Mavericks: How to control your Mac with your voice – April 9, 2014
Can Apple help make hearing aids cool? – March 10, 2014
Apple files new patents relating to haptics, Thunderbolt, iSight and improved accessibility for the hearing impaired – August 23, 2012
Inside Apple’s OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: New iOS-style Accessibility – July 18, 2012
Stevie Wonder thanks Steve Jobs, praises Apple for iOS accessibility – September 15, 2011
Good news for music fans with vision loss: Apple adds accessibility features to iPod nano and iTunes – September 18, 2008


  1. Apple has always tried to cater for people with special needs. Those who remember the original Mac in 1984 might recall that the printed instruction manual ( remember those ? ) had a section in large print to help visually impaired people get started with their Macs.

  2. A commitment to universal accessibility is one of the admirable aspects of the Apple culture that is woefully under appreciated by people in general. While I recognize that Apple and its products have many flaws, I give high marks to Apple for trying to to the right things for its customers – security, accessibility, ecosystem integration, etc. As long as Apple continues to strive to serve the best interests of its customers, my loyalty to the company will remain strong. I will never jump ship lightly, and there is no currently available option that even tempts me to do so.

    For many OS X and iOS users, I suspect that the accessibility options are virtually unknown. In fact, theses features can become nuisances when they are accidentally triggered and the user has no clue about how to turn them off. On a recent car trip I must have triple-tapped my iPhone Home button because it started talking to me. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to turn it off, but it also made me stop and think about how Apple has enabled people with visual impairments to navigation through menus and select apps. There are so many ways in which people with various impairments are excluded from activities that most of us take for granted. I am thankful that Apple cares.

  3. I have a relative with hand dexterity issues. Go ahead, try to find a remote control for the Apple TV that people with motor issues can use… You can forget about the ATV4 remote. None of the Apple remotes would work, ATV 1-4. Apple support had no options for her. She did not want to control her TV with the iPad based Apple Remote program.

    I ended up going to eBay and ordering one from Hong Kong. That remote works.

    I know the AppleTV can learn other remotes, but I could not locate a minimalist type remote that had few enough buttons as to not be confusing. The Hong Kong was made for it and has only one extra button.

  4. Lol. @the fourth commenter, Apple can’t do everything. I’m just thankful that I, a blind person—totally blind, not just “visually impaired, lol—can use my Mac computer and iPhone, both with voiceover. When I feel like doing popular things, like Facebook and Diceworld, I pick up my braille display, press the home button on my iPhone, and zoom around making friends and influencing people. When I feel like having some fresh air, or playing games, I move over to the Mac, delete plenty of email and reply to others, play video games, mostly mortal kombat and soul caliber, and fiddle around with the Terminal, all with voiceover, or Emacspeak in the terminal some times. Apple continues to wow me every time I stop and think about all that I can do with my Mac and iPhone, especially compared to Windows and Android users. I’m subscribed to an Android accessibility list serve, and chuckle every tim I read about how “open” android is. But that same openness holds Android accessibility hostage, because they’re so free that they have nowhere to go, no one to follow. It’s sad, but true. Apple deserves the monopoly they have, because they’ve worked the hardest in all aspects. So, bring it on Android/Windows accessibility fanboys, I’ll shatter your presuppositions and ignorance, or ignore you, lol. But I always love sharing my thoughts here, even if it is for my own benefit, mostly. I have to tell someone about how truly inspiring and cunning Apple is, even if it is mostly to myself.

    1. My wife is legally blind, and she uses different aspects of Mac and iPhone accessibility features: zooming the screen (quite a bit) so she can read it. Apple’s accessibility features work for a wide variety of user needs, depending on their own situation. Really glad they decided to make accessibility a priority.

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