Tim Cook meets with YouTubers to celebrate accessibility

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Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 12.08.20
Apple is working hard to make sure its products can be used by everyone.
Photo: Apple

A cup of coffee with Tim Cook can cost thousands of dollars, but to mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day Apple’s CEO has made an exception.

To promote Apple’s stance on Accessibility, Apple invited three YouTubers with disabilities to its campus for a cup of joe and a casual chat with Tim Cook. In their brief interviews, they discuss everything from the challenge of getting Apple Watch algorithms to recognize wheelchair movement to Apple’s history as a company with values.

Check them out below.

Accessible Hollywood

James Rath

Rikki Poynter

The videos don’t necessarily cover a whole lot of new ground, although they’re certainly interesting viewing as a reminder of just how seriously Apple takes the subject of accessibility. For instance, Cook reiterates what he told investors a few years ago in terms of not being overly concerned about return-on-investment when it comes to making Apple products accessible to all.

He also talks about Apple’s mission for democratizing technology, and describes how Apple has always been a company with values it wants to share with the world.

There are also a few neat tidbits, like the aforementioned discussion of the Apple Watch’s wheelchair rolling algorithms, which Cook said presented a challenge since wheelchair users often use their chairs very differently — which made it tough to track movement.

There’s also a brief discussion of Pokémon GO (apparently there are Pokémon to be found in the Apple cafeteria), and about Tim Cook’s favorite hobby — which he describes as weightlifting.

The importance of Accessibility

The new videos arrived one day after Apple debuted a series of “Designed for” videos on its YouTube channel, depciting how Apple’s Accessibility features can help users such as a visually-impared DJ who uses the company’s award-winning VoiceOver feature to work.

Although Apple has long embraced Accessibility tools, this has really ramped up in recent years under Cook’s leadership. For example, last year Apple opened a new section of its online store where shoppers can find a range of accessibility gadgets. These are split up into vision, physical and motor skills, and learning and literacy categories, and feature products for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

Good work, Apple!

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