The Importance of Accessibility in Emerging Handheld Technology

Apple Continues to Lead the Way in Awareness and Innovation

In an article published to Tech Crunch in 2016, author Steven Aquino shows that it’s not hard to argue that handheld technology has rendered the world unrecognizable in a span of less than two decades, with companies like Apple introducing innovation after innovation that change the course of everyday life. An often-underreported gain from this technology revolution, the community of people with disabilities has greatly been assisted by accessibility features that keep rolling out alongside each new Apple device.

On a much quieter note, and without the fanfare of thousands of cheering fans for every unveiled feature, Apple has created a rich and diverse assortment of tools for people with a disability that make using an iPhone possible. The investment into this particular area is representative of the broader company mission of making products for everyone, a mission that underlies a commitment to enrich people’s lives through technological innovation.

So what are some of the features that are enriching the lives of the community of people with disabilities? For the community of people with sight impairments, Apple has worked to incorporate Braille in keyboards and has made the IOS software compatible with more that 50 models of refreshable Braille displays. Apple has also mastered VoiceOver technology, an innovation that allows anything and everything contained within an iPhone to be read out loud, from texts to maps to notes. Apple has also expanded accessibility to their app store, categorizing apps that assist with vision, hearing, and speech in categories that are easy to find and helpful in everyday use. No longer do users with disabilities have to wait years for emerging technology to be redeveloped to suit their needs, accessibility is rolled out at the same time as every highly anticipated upgrade.

Why is accessibility an important part of the technological revolution? Why is it so important for Apple to strive towards accessibility as a core principle of the company’s mission?

It all comes down to the idea that accessibility is a human right. No group should be left out of the current technological revolution taking place around the world. No group should be unable to access their basic human rights. As technology becomes more and more interwoven with our daily lives, the necessity to include and expand to communities all over the world grows.

In the case of Apple, the company’s dedication to accessibility amongst the community of people with disabilities is admirable, and the first step to a wider dedication to accessibility in companies based all over the world, whether in the tech field or not.

Written by Ryan Trombly

Ryan Trombly was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when she was eighteen months old. The disability causes right-side hemiparesis that affects the entire right side of her body, weakening her muscles and limiting her mobility in everyday activities. Despite this, Ryan has strived to live a normal, independent life without any barriers and hopes to use her voice to advocate for the disabled community.

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