Apple Highlights Accessibility Features Ahead of Global Accessibility Awareness Day

By Goran Spasojevic / May 14, 2018

If you know anyone who is struggling with some kind of disability, you've surely noticed that even the smallest of technology features can make a lot of difference in their everyday lives. Austin Pruitt, for example, is a two-time US Paralympian. Pruitt uses a racing wheelchair on a daily basis for his training and before using the Apple Watch, he used a bunch of trackers on his wheelchair in order to keep the track of his workouts. Now, with the Apple's latest gadget, Pruitt can install the app that does all the tracking for him.

Apple decided to address this and similar cases in regards to the upcoming Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Considering how people with disabilities are relying on today's technology more and more, Apple aims to make lives more convenient to this segment of its users.

Austin Pruitt in a racing wheelchair

Image Courtesy Of Medium

As CNET notes, the fact that these features are meant for users with disabilities doesn't mean that they are not applicable to a much broader population group. For example, we can all remember when iPhone had received the inverted colors mode for visually impaired users and how this particular option became popular among the other users too because it conveniently served its purpose for a low-light reading before bedtime.

Sarah Herrlinger, Apple's director of global accessibility policy and initiatives, says that the company is adding new things all the time and that they are focusing on implementing a lot more accessibility features on both iOS and MacOS devices. Some of the most promising ones, according to Herrlinger, will be a text-to-speech service that can read your grocery list or your emails. There is also an option to pair hearing aids and cochlear implants with Bluetooth. She also mentioned that visually impaired persons can use their iPhone's camera app to find a specific spice in their kitchen by reading its barcode or do something else like control small appliances with HomePod smart speaker.

In the end, we can also mention that Apple has been working with different makers of portable Braille readers.

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