Apple Highlights How iPhone Allows Blind Veteran and Surfboarder Scott Leason to Live Independently

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple today shared a story about how the iPhone's accessibility features enable blind veteran and surfboarder Scott Leason to live independently.

    Scott Leason surfboards at Mission Beach

    A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Leason was blinded in 1993 after seven years of service. After years of adapting to his new normal, he received an iPhone 5 in 2012, along with training from Sarah T. Majidzadeh, assistant chief of blind rehabilitation at the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center in Long Beach, California.

    Leason is one of many individuals who are blind or have low vision who rely on the iPhone's built-in VoiceOver screen-reading software for daily tasks.

    "It's a lot easier to navigate with the phone," Leason told Apple for its story. "I think a lot of the visually impaired prefer the iPhone because they can do everything on it. And VoiceOver works pretty darn good."

    VoiceOver is a gesture-based reader introduced on iPhone in 2009, which made it the world's first fully accessible smartphone user interface for the blind, according to Apple. 76 percent of blind and low-vision people using a mobile screen-reading platform choose VoiceOver, per a December 2017 survey by WebAIM.

    Scott Leason uses his iPhone XR to prepare for a surf

    A competitive surfboarder, Leason has since upgraded to an iPhone XR, which he uses to review the day's surf reports via the Surfline app to prepare for the day's ride, typically at Mission Beach in San Diego. He also wears an Apple Watch Series 4 to track his surfing workouts in the water and at home.

    "It's amazing how long ago 10 years feels in the world of technology," said Kevin Waldick, assistant director at the Mission Bay Aquatics Center. "He was not very technologically savvy at all, but when he got his iPhone he was like 'I can just do it. This is amazing.' And so Apple does a really amazing job of making that accessible."

    Scott Leason starts a surfing workout on Apple Watch Series 4

    Leason was the first blind champion at the USA Adaptive Surfing Championships at Oceanside Harbor North Jetty in June 2016. The same year, he won second place in men's tricks at the USA Water Ski competition in Harmony, North Carolina. In 2018, he competed in seven competitions in four different sports.

    "I'm independent," Leason concluded. "That's the best way to describe the iPhone: independence."

    Article Link: Apple Highlights How iPhone Allows Blind Veteran and Surfboarder Scott Leason to Live Independently
  2. Marshall73 macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2015
  3. Eddy Munn macrumors 6502

    Eddy Munn

    Dec 27, 2008
    It's incredible how technology is able to assist so many people in so many ways.
  4. mi7chy macrumors 601


    Oct 24, 2014
  5. nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
    I will always applaud Apple for their commitment to accessibility. They haven’t only done this recently. They have made devices with an eye to the disabled for decades. It’s something most of us won’t directly benefit from but for many people it’s the difference between joining the active world and being further isolated.
  6. skinned66 macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2011
    Ottawa, Canada
    iOS led the way for accessibility features as far as mobile OSes go and it's a lead I don't think they've given up.
  7. kahkityoong macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    What’s your point? Who cares about Siri in this article?
  8. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

    Feb 9, 2009
    From one surfer to another - TOTAL RESPECT!
  9. DrJohnnyN macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
    Apple... tugging at your heartstrings.
  10. wigby macrumors 68000

    Jun 7, 2007
    It's actually an interesting distinction. The story mention iOS's built-in voiceover screen reading software but not Siri. Some users rely on Siri more than touch for small screens like Watch but when you're blind, Siri is everything. I think Apple is trying to highlight the fact that they're OS has built-in features for impaired individuals without getting into the weeds with all the Siri haters out there. Users without impairments take Siri for granted and complain much more than users that truly need Siri. Like all voice assistants, Siri is nowhere close to being a useful assistant we were promised but that day is coming. Like it or not, Apple users will soon all rely heavily on Siri for nearly everything. I just hope Apple can meet or exceed the expectations they have already set.
  11. Nate Weir macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2014
    Anyone know how to get the surfing workout to appear on the series 4? I'm not seeing it...
  12. Hokie804 macrumors member


    Oct 27, 2018
    --- Post Merged, Nov 9, 2018 ---
    Very impressive and inspiring!
  13. miniyou64 macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2008
    Apple UX for visually impaired people is 1/10th of what it was under Jobs. For goodness sakes, the X models have almost zero tactile cues for which orientation the phone is in for a blind person without the home button
  14. mi7chy, Nov 9, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018

    mi7chy macrumors 601


    Oct 24, 2014
  15. freezelighter macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2014
    Liestal, Switzerland
    We complain about the new Mac Mini, about the bad food apps and about the rainy weather.
    This guy is blind.
    Think twice before complaining.
  16. bjoswald macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2016
    I'm glad this guy enjoys life, with or without Apple.

    Those of us who are more fortunate should count our blessings.
  17. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    It's so great that modern inventions can help people with all sorts of medical conditions overcome them in various ways, and help such people to have a much fuller life that would have been possible just a few decades ago.

    However I'm sorry, but from the headline I don't understand.
    Is this guy blind, or just has really bad eyesight so we incorrectly file him as being blind when he's not blind?

    I know someone who says she's regarded as medically blind, but she still drives and sees ok, just she needs super strength glasses.
    No that I wish to disagree with medical experts, but I don't care what they say, for me, if you are blind that means can't see anything.
  18. mi7chy macrumors 601


    Oct 24, 2014
    Sounds like complete loss of vision in both eyes and smell.

  19. DeepIn2U, Nov 9, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2018

    DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Simply. Beautiful!


    I love this ****!
    --- Post Merged, Nov 9, 2018 ---
    Um ... those two words sound like conflict or a conundrum: Tactile and iPhone

    iPhone still carries power, volume and slider switch buttons. only the home button is lost. tactile isn't the solution once thought of of yesteryear: When you're blind you're reaching out first to get a tactile feel. Not everything is tactile as a cue to identify what it is.

    Think of touch screen phones as a flat polished table.

    The table vibrates or talks to you in certain areas, which the borders are quickly and readily made known to you (blind) and from there like 90% of a human beings' first 4yrs in life is by touch, trial and error.

    reaching to touch
    pooing/peeing holding each - all control (or potty training)
    tieing up your shoelaces (5 ways most people only know of 2!)
    ^ I like to compare this to touch-screen typing vs touch-typing (PC/typewriter) vs cursive writing!
    walking, running
    speaking, laughing, singing!

    ALL learned through watching, practicing and feeling it out! EVERY damn one of us goes through this. It can be argued that any of the above is truly a tactile learning experience vs something you watch and learn doing first before anything tactile is done. If you truly raised your own child you'd know the real answer to this!
  20. Glockworkorange macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2015
    Chicago, Illinois
    They do such a great job making things accessible. I suppose it’s hard to market it, but they need to continue highlighting things like this.
  21. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    "It's a lot easier to navigate with the phone," Leason told Apple for its story"

    ...or to be more accurate "It's a lot easier to navigate with a GPS"
  22. caraveo macrumors newbie


    Jul 1, 2015
    Artesia, New Mexico

  23. FruitMonger3 macrumors newbie


    Nov 14, 2018
    I love the accessibility features of Apple products and the freedom it gives people with accessibility needs. It opens so many doors from the seemingly mundane tasks we take for granted to being able to edit videos and photos or other creative endeavors. Love this story!!!

    Also, it's interesting that this article has only 22 comments and every other one has 100+ at minimum. I guess this one weeded out all the trolls...

Share This Page