Apple Stores to start stocking accessibility products in 2016

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Apple's focus on accessibility isn't going unrecognized.
Apple is stepping up its focus on accessibility.
Photo: Apple

Apple is reportedly set to start selling new accessibility-related peripherals and accessories for both Mac and iOS in its brick-and-mortar Apple Stores as well as online.

The accessories, which are reported to be going on sale in the first quarter of calendar year 2016, are designed to help users with disabilities to better engage with Apple products.

Pushing accessibility has been a big initiative under Tim Cook, who has explicitly referred to it as a more important mission for Apple than turning a profit. Last year, the company was praised for its work in this area by Mark A. Riccobono, president of the National Federation of the Blind, who said, “Apple has done more for accessibility than any other company to date.”

In particular, Apple has introduced software features such as Guided Access, VoiceOver, and FaceTime, which have been designed in part to aid users with disabilities.

Recently the company was given a Helen Keller Achievement award for VoiceOver, issued by the American Foundation for the Blind. Apple has also updated the App Store with a special section highlighting apps which support this technology, as well as being involved with October’s international NDIS New World Conference 2015, held in Australia.

Offering hardware to support these software initiatives is the logical next step in this important mission.

Source: Macotakara

 

  • ATEngineer

    I am appalled. When marketing and media relations types get together the exaggeration and outright spin is appalling.
    Tash? Ablenet? Zygo? these are the disability product companies that have done much much more than Apple. Frankly, the misdirection and inappropriate deflection of expectations that an iphone or ipad was good Assistive Technology has actually killed many good AT product markets. The end result in many cases is abandonment of the ipad because it is just not the appropriate device. I know this is a fansite, and Apple has really improved their accessibility features in the last OS builds – VO is awful by the way and has no design elements commonly used in AT – but please try to see that much of what Apple says is over the top hyperbole for the sake of marketing.