Apple wins kudos for accessibility and smart home tech empowering people with disabilities

Fox Business News’ Ashley Webster and Stuart Varney on Apple’s video showing how its smart home technology can impact the lives of people with disabilities.

Apple this week posted seven videos on YouTube regarding accessibility and showing how Apple’s products are designed for everyone.

Designed for Carlos V.Carlos is the lead singer, drummer and PR manager for his metal band Distartica. Using VoiceOver, with Screen Curtain on iPhone, he can hail a ride, take a photo, and get the word out about his band’s album release while keeping his screen entirely black.

Designed for Ian M.Ian is an outdoor and birding enthusiast. With Siri on iPhone, he can play a bird call or chat with a friend via FaceTime, and with Switch Control he is able to capture the perfect waterfall photo. Learn more about Switch Control here.

Designed for Meera P.Meera is a teenager who loves soccer and jokes. She uses TouchChat on iPad to talk with her friends and family, and deliver the occasional one-liner. Check out TouchChat on the App Store here.

Designed for Andrea D.Andrea is a nursing student and advocate for the disabled community. She uses Apple Watch to record wheelchair-specific workouts and share her victories with friends. Learn more about Accessibility on Apple Watch here.

• Designed for Patrick L.Patrick is a DJ and producer with a passion for music and excellent food. With VoiceOver, he has the freedom to express himself in his home studio with Logic Pro X and in the kitchen with TapTapSee. Learn more about VoiceOver here.

Designed for Shane R.Shane is a middle school band and choir director who uses Made for iPhone hearing aids in her classroom so she can hear every note. Learn more about Made for iPhone hearing aids here.

• Designed for Todd S.Todd is the CEO of a technology consulting company and a prominent member of the quadriplegic community. With Siri, Switch Control, and the Home app, he can open his front door, adjust the lights in his house, and queue up a party playlist.

Watch Ashley Webster and Stuart Varney discuss Apple and accessibility here.

MacDailyNews Take: More videos, please!

Apple’s accessibility features are simply unmatched; light years ahead of would-be rivals.

Apple continues to lead in accessibility awareness and innovation – May 19, 2016


  1. I am not a person with a disability, but by the nature of my work, I encounter many of them with all types of disabilities (wheelchair, vision, hearing), and almost inevitably, all of them would at some point mention Apple and their accessibility functionality. It is quite rare to see a person with a disability with a device that isn’t Apple.

    As MDN says, simply unmatched.

    1. The critically important point that gets easily lost in the warm and fuzzy feeling of helping less fortunate is that Apple’s work on accessibility has made these devices useful to a group of people who would have otherwise been excluded. And more importantly, because of that, these people can be much more productive; rather than being a burden to the society, they get to contribute to the economy. Apple’s investment pays off for everyone else.

      1. Not to be crass, but it also opened a market segment to Apple that had been essentially barren. Apple competes well enough in mainstream markets, but does even better competing against non-consumption, as Horace Dediu might put it.

        1. While your statements are true, they are excessively negative considering Apple’s long history of superior support for computer accessibility. Apple was supporting accessibility in its most basic forms when home computing was in its infancy. It was not a market-based decision, it was a choice that reveals the soul of the company as it was founded. One should give credit where it is due.

  2. Virtually all of the people I know of who have a disability are living on a disability pension, i.e. below the poverty line. I have absolutely no idea how any of them could afford any of Apple’s premium-priced products. And that leaves me wondering how many disabled people actually benefit from Apple’s efforts. What would be the good of accessibility features that are too expensive for those that need them?

    1. I have no doubt that people you’re describing are out there, and clearly they are very unfortunate. In my working life, I have met quite many persons with disabilities, and not just the kind where kidney failure requires regular dialysis, or heart condition prevents them from physically exerting themselves, but those whose disability removes the means of communication (hearing, vision), or severely restricts mobility (wheelchair). And, perhaps it is because what I do, and where I work, all these people with disability have very similar story of triumph against adversity. Mainstreaming themselves through their education, acquiring expertise and skills that can make them competitive, and then entering the workforce. And it is these kind of people that find Apple devices a significant contributor to their productivity.

      1. In the U.S., disabled benefit from provisions of the ADA. How does that compare with Europe?. I haven’t been back there since the 1990s, where I remember the kerbs at crossings being as high as ever.

        1. I like what you did there (kerbs… he, he). I haven’t been recently to the UK, but I know that there are many new EU laws that make life a lot easier for people with common disabilities (sight/hearing/mobility). Even most other non-EU countries had made significant strides since the 90s, and the kerbs have been cut practically everywhere, and ramps installed around stairs.

    2. Have you noticed that some of those same disabled people also have powered wheelchairs, home care, and other support not affordable under a pension? There are lines of support for the disabled in addition to a pension.

      Also, consider the benefits of enabling the severely disabled to become more productive and independent. Not only will the costs of support go down, but the person’s quality of life and feelings of self-worth and happiness will increase. That is an intelligent and worthy application of tax dollars.

    3. Thanks to those of you who actually answered instead of just down-voting my post.

      That all makes sense and is very reasonable. Here in Oz the government does provide essentials (like wheelchairs) to disabled and disadvantaged people; from what I’ve heard it’s actually VERY good in that regard.

      But still, I’ve never heard of government-funded Apple products for the disabled. Maybe one day? Maybe when the Apple Watch includes constant blood glucose monitoring, for example?

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