This week marks the 30th anniversary of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and to highlight the milestone TechCrunch interviewed several technology companies and advocacy organizations, including Apple, to discuss how technology has improved the everyday lives of people with disabilities.
At Apple TechCrunch spoke to Sarah Herrlinger, the company’s Director of Global Accessibility Policy. According to Herrlinger, Apple “always believed that accessibility was a human right”. This is a value that Apple keeps an eye on with every new product.
Apple has always endeavored to make its products accessible to everyone and is implementing new accessibility features with every new software version. According to Herrlinger, Apple’s iPhone is the most powerful tool ever.
“The historical impact of” iPhone “as a mainstream consumer product is well documented, but less understood is how life-changing” iPhone “and our other products have been for communities of people with disabilities,” said Herrlinger. “Over time, iPhone has become the most powerful and popular tool of all time. It broke the form of previous considerations because it showed that accessibility can actually be seamlessly integrated into a device that everyone can use universally. “
One of the most important functions the iPhone has to offer as TechCrunch indicates is VoiceOver. VoiceOver is an accessibility feature that reads the contents of the “iPhone” screen so that people with visual impairments can navigate through iOS. Over the weekend, Kristy Viers showed how to use her “iPhone” and it’s a great look at how VoiceOver and other accessibility tools work.
I thought I would share how I use my iPhone as a visually impaired person. Pic.twitter.com/wPI9smOIq0 – Kristy Viers (@Kristy_Viers) July 26, 2020
Herrlinger said that there are growth opportunities in the technology industry when it comes to accessibility, and that “representation and inclusion are critical”.
We believe in the mantra of many disability communities: “Nothing about us without us.” We founded a dedicated accessibility team in 1985, but like everything related to inclusion, accessibility should be everyone’s job at Apple.
Apple in iOS 14 introduces several new accessibility features, e.g. B. “Tap Back” to tap the back of the “iPhone” to perform actions, headphone adjustments to amplify soft tones, and to adjust frequencies to make music, movies, calls, and more sound clearer, and tone detection, a feature that can wait for certain sounds such as alarms and send warnings.
There are also “iOS 14” enhancements for VoiceOver that use device intelligence to recognize elements on the screen and provide support for app and web experiences that do not offer built-in accessibility support.
TechCrunchThe full ADA article also includes comments from Microsoft, Facebook and others and can be read on the website TechCrunch Website.