Apple Leads By Example on Global Accessibility Awareness Day

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Apple accessibility

We knew that Apple is a major supporter of GLAAD, but now we can add GAAD to the list of pro-social commitments the brand is lending its considerable support to under CEO Tim Cook.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#GAAD) happens only once a year and, this time around, Apple was ready for the big day on May 18th. The brand released seven short videos (watch bel0w) to show how its technology is helping various disabled folks across the globe every day.

From a vision-impaired musician named Carlos (who uses his iPhone to hail a ride, take pictures and promote his band) to a paralyzed gent named Ian who is cycling 3,000 miles this year and uses his iPhone to play bird calls, chat with a pal on FaceTime and take pictures, the individual stories highlighted are compelling, authentic and moving.

Or there’s 15-year-old Meera, who has trouble talking so she uses TouchChat on iPad to talk to her friends. She’s not shy about it, either. The kid can tell a joke.

Cook also met with three YouTube creators to talk about how the brand is promoting inclusion when it comes to creating products, content and experiences for all:

Across the globe, more than a billion people are living with disabilities, according to the World Health Organization. That’s almost one in every seven individuals on the planet. So Apple is tapping into one giant target audience that likely sees themselves in any disability-related ad Apple runs.

While each film focuses on one person dealing with his or her disability, the series is called “Designed for Everyone” in hopes that everyone would see themselves in these varied lives.

“Apple has done more for accessibility than any other company to date,” Mark A. Riccobono, president of the National Federation of the Blind, said to Phone Arena.

The company has shown in recent months that accessibility is not just some one-off issue for the company. This past October, it launched an Accessibility section on its website that shows all of the different ways Apple products have worked to include accessibility options in its products, MacRumors.com reports.

Apple isn’t just shilling its own products here, either. Within the seven videos, it also mentions third-party apps that have helped the featured folks with accessibility issues. For example, TouchChat is an app used by Meera created by a company other than Apple, 9to5mac.com reports.

Other companies sponsoring Global Accessibility Awareness Day include Airbnb, the BBC, Expedia, the University of Iowa, and the University of Tennessee.

Apple’s 2017 accessibility series:

Andrea is a nursing student and advocate for the disabled community. She uses Apple Watch to record wheelchair-specific workouts and share her victories with friends.

Carlos is the lead singer, drummer and PR manager for his metal band Distartica. Using VoiceOver, with Screen Curtain on iPhone, he can hail a ride, take a photo, and get the word out about his band’s album release while keeping his screen entirely black.

Ian is an outdoor and birding enthusiast. With Siri on iPhone, he can play a bird call or chat with a friend via FaceTime, and with Switch Control he is able to capture the perfect waterfall photo.

Meera is a teenager who loves soccer and jokes. She uses TouchChat on iPad to talk with her friends and family, and deliver the occasional one-liner.

Patrick is a DJ and producer with a passion for music and excellent food. With VoiceOver, he has the freedom to express himself in his home studio with Logic Pro X and in the kitchen with TapTapSee.

Shane is a middle school band and choir director who uses Made for iPhone hearing aids in her classroom so she can hear every note.

Todd is the CEO of a technology consulting company and a prominent member of the quadriplegic community. With Siri, Switch Control, and the Home app, he can open his front door, adjust the lights in his house, and queue up a party playlist.

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