Updated With Focus on Accessibility Features of iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch, and More

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 17, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple today updated the front page and accessibility section of in celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day. The event is held on the third Thursday of May every year and was created to promote inclusion and usability of technology for anyone with a disability.

    This year, Apple is highlighting its own accessibility features right on the home page of, stating that "Technology is most powerful when it empowers everyone." On the main accessibility page, Apple has again posted 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 company has greatly expanded the web page to mark today's event. When you scroll down, each section is marked by accessibility features focusing on different areas of disability, beginning with vision. These include VoiceOver, adjustable display accommodations, Dynamic Type to upsize text, and Zoom to get a closer look at an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, or Apple TV screen.

    In the hearing section, Apple says it wants to "keep everyone in the conversation" with features like Live Listen that let users fine-tune MFi hearing aids to hear more clearly. The company also showcases FaceTime for those who use sign language to communicate, closed captioning for music and sound effects on all Apple devices, LED Flash for iPhone alerts, and Type to Siri for manually asking the AI assistant to perform any task.

    The last two sections focus on physical and motor skills as well as learning and literacy. Here Apple talks about using HomePod to automate complex scenes with just a voice, AssistiveTouch for customized iOS gestures, Speak Screen to hear text spoken aloud on iPhone and iPad, and Safari Reader to stay focused on content and reduce visual clutter that can become a sensory overload for some users.

    Earlier this week, Apple's director of global accessibility policy and initiatives, Sarah Herrlinger, discussed the company's efforts to help individuals with disabilities through its various products. In March, Apple donated $250,000 to sponsor an "Innovation Zone" in an accessibility-focused playground opening soon in Sunnyvale, California.

    For last year's Global Accessibility Awareness Day, the company launched a series of "Designed for" videos on its YouTube channel, highlighted interviews conducted between CEO Tim Cook and three accessibility activists, and held a Stevie Wonder concert at One Infinite Loop.

    This year, Apple says it's hosting global events that will promote inclusive design and "emphasize how technology can support all people with disabilities," including events at Apple corporate in Cupertino, Austin, Cork, and London. Throughout May all of its stores will have accessibility-related Today at Apple sessions for customers to participate in. If Apple celebrates the accessibility-focused day with other events, we'll be sure to update this post.

    Article Link: Updated With Focus on Accessibility Features of iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch, and More
  2. rodpascoe macrumors regular


    Jun 19, 2006
    Truro, Cornwall
    Guess there's a trade off between accessibility and experience. Not as exciting a site as it was.

    The iMac Pro page looks like something from 2001.

    Attached Files:

  3. nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
    That is one thing I have always admired about Apple: they have historically and consistently done more to make their products usable by those with disabilities than many other companies do. It’s very hard to make a product usable to such a broad range of abilities but people are worth it.
  4. Glideslope macrumors 603


    Dec 7, 2007
    A quiet place in NY.
    I was going with the 90's but 2001 will do. :apple:
  5. pete2106 macrumors 6502


    Dec 7, 2012
    That's a little unfair. The page has lots of really high resolution images and high frame rate animations. The text is bold, clear, and to the point. It's quite a nice page.
  6. Diatribe macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    And yet they cannot seem to fix the most basic bugs in voiceover...
  7. Dilster3k macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2014
    Frankfurt, Germany
    You know we can talk a lot of smack within these forums, but this commitment from their end is truly commendable. Props!
  8. Gorms macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2012
    Weirdly, the updated accessibility page fails WCAG AA accessibility checks. Certainly with the checker I just used.

    (edited to say: although I have seen far, far, worse results on other sites and any effort toward increasing accessibility should be 100% commended, not snarked upon from an Internet distance)
  9. w5jck macrumors member


    Nov 9, 2013
    I know Apple thinks they are trying to help, but as with a lot of things they do what Apple wants to do rather than asking people what they want. I have only one hand, and it is messed up too and quite arthritic. Many of the standard gestures are difficult to do, some impossible. AssistiveTouch just doesn't do it for me. Using Siri to voice commands is a joke. Anytime I try to dictate a text message or email I get gibberish. That holds true for Amazon Alexa too. That so called AI is little more than Dragon Speaks from the early 90's. Not much improvement in the past 25 years, and it is not intelligent IMO. Not even close. I love my iThingies, and I like Apple, but they seriously need to listen to people who actually have the disabilities and not just try to provide non-solutions that are as difficult and frustrating to use as the standard ones, and more often than not fail. If you are not disabled, then you have no darn clue what it is we need. Apple needs to communicate with us and observe how we use their hardware. For most of you, you see a webpage and think Apple is doing wonderful things. But the truth is, many of their non-solutions simply don't work well enough to be of any value. They are leaps and bounds ahead of Google and Microsoft, but they are still very much in the dark. Apple's heart is in the right place, but their brains have yet to understand what we really need and what actually works.
  10. Jsameds macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2008
    Does it?

  11. MacsRuleOthersDrool macrumors 68000

    Sep 8, 2016
    Offtopic much?

    What does Apple's commitment to accessibility have to do with the web design of the iMac Pro's Product Page?

    I'm waiting...
  12. ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    And a lot of those features just make the platform(s) more flexible for general users as well.
  13. tzm41 macrumors regular


    Jul 11, 2014
    Boston, USA
    I will applaud, only if they make iOS accessibility better. Any developer who worked on VoiceOver compatible app would probably agree with me, that many things are only working 80% of the times, and Apple haven't put much thoughts into edge cases.
  14. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
    So much type size on iPhones are way too small. You have 20 year old coders with 20/20 vision making these decisions. A somewhat solution is to try and blow things up but it ruins everything and makes the phone unusable. Make the type larger and let me scroll a bit. Sheesh.
  15. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    One thing I note is that accessibility options are not only for "helping people with disabilities", but they're for everyone. I like using assistive touch in late night so I won't wake up my wife by clicking the physical home button from my iPhone SE. Also, the zoom section allows a low-brightness filter for using in the dark. I miss a sub-1x zoom allowing accessing menus from badly written apps.
  16. BrianM_CAN macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2018
    They need to update the iPod touch or iPad mini (or both) for museums and other institutions to continue to use these accessibility features.
  17. ThisIsNotMe Suspended

    Aug 11, 2008
    You know what would empower me?
    Having my DisplayLink monitors working.....
  18. lanomds macrumors newbie


    May 17, 2018
    Well I bought an iPhone X because I always gave Apple credit for accessibility features although I've sent them many feedbacks to put an option in Safari to increase text size (not the reading view, because neither all sites can handle that) and they have never shown up with that update. They also took off the Zoom Display on iPhone X and I've called Apple and they simply didn't care much about my problem with not having this option because for them it was kinda useless. I'm not blind but I don't have that good vision so this option for me and many others was so much important and they just took that from the iPhone. I think that Apple would care more about these issues if everybody who need that noticed these missing features and gave them feedback.
  19. miniyou64 macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2008
    If Apple cared half as much about accessibility as they once did, iOS would look very different and have far less bugs.
  20. Bacillus macrumors 68020


    Jun 25, 2009
    I'm falling blind seeing their prices.
    Better fix the root cause
  21. dirtymagician Suspended

    Jul 24, 2012
    Completely agree. My mums friend is blind and spent years on Windows with very expensive software (£3000 in some cases!). She moved to Mac/iOS a few years back and it works so well for her, having the Apple in-store support is worth every penny as well.

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