Apple revamps accessibility site with a whole bunch of updates, videos
Adding to their repertoire of features that make iPhone, iPads and other devices easily accessible to people with disabilities, Apple has revamped its accessibility site with a whole host of new additions.
The site’s new look, which you can check out here, coincided with International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3) and brings in changes that makes it easier for people to navigate through it and learn of ways to personalise their devices better.
Apple has organised the accessibility site into four main parts - Vision, Mobility, Hearing and Cognitive. And each of these sections have features that can be of good use to pretty much any user whether they identify themselves as people with disability or not.
The driving mantra behind it all is to make these features yours and “make something wonderful”. The revamped accessibility page also uses large, high-contrast copy for ease of reading.
To understand the features Apple offers for better accessibility, all you need to do is to head over to Settings and click on ‘Accessibility’. You will find features like Magnifier (to help read smaller print), VoiceOver (to read text out loud), Speak Selection (read highlighted text and audio descriptions) etc that can be useful to many, many users. There is also a feature called Sound Recognition that pushes a visible and vibrating notification to your iPhone or iPad when the device detects a certain sound like fire alarms or doorbells or sirens or a crying baby.
Just a little tour through it all and you’d understand why Apple devices are preferred by the many persons with disabilities over Android devices. The fact that Apple is a closed ecosystem helps the company make significant additions to what their devices can offer to users. And not just that, the company also works with others who make devices like Braille keyboards and hearing aids for Apple so as it all fits in seamlessly and “just works”.
Apple has also shared a bunch of videos on the revamped site that are basically ‘how to’ posts on how to use the the magnifier, how to customise the back tap feature to trigger actions actions and accessibility shortcuts, how to take a selfie or turn on different user interfaces with Voice Control etc. The different interface options help users with severe physical motor limitations to control their Mac, iPad and iPhone with just their voices.
With the new iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple is also going to use the new LiDAR scanner on the back to help the visually impaired understand how far away other persons and objects are - this is particularly helpful while standing in a queue or while entering a store or an unknown building.
Devices, afterall, are meant for everyone. If a certain user is unable to use it optimally because of certain disabilities, the onus lies on the company to accommodate, adapt and deliver. Apple has been doing exactly this for a while now and they are just getting better at it.