Apple Celebrates Accessibility Awareness Month with new apps and features
Apple today is kicking off their recognition of Accessibility Awareness Month 2020 by rolling out minor yet notable accessibility-focused updates across its various properties—App Store editorial, Apple Support, and more. More content will be added throughout the remainder of May, the company confirmed to me.
Apple, as usual, has a curated collection of apps geared towards accessibility that span various developmental domains, as well as apps that integrate well with system features like VoiceOver. Starting today, users will see updated accessibility app collections in the App Store on iOS and macOS. These include communication and language, literacy, and creativity. New apps in the collection include the speech therapy Speech Blurb , phone call transcription tool Rogervoice , and language learner The ASL App . This collection appears in the Today tab.
The richness of Apple's vast third-party developer ecosystem is notably on display in these collections. These apps, amongst countless others, cater to a variety of needs that are easily met due to the popularity of devices like the iPhone and iPad and the robustness of the software they run in iOS and iPadOS, respectively.
On the developer side of the fence, it's worth noting Apple provides an expansive set of accessibility APIs that developers can hook into their own apps. Two of the most popular and well-known ones are VoiceOver and Dynamic Type. Furthermore, there's an Accessibility Inspector built into Xcode where developers can test and audit an app's accessibility during the development process.
Also launching today is an update to Apple's remote learning resources that are relevant to special education. There is a new how-to video, aimed at educators and parents of students with physical-motor delays, in which the company demonstrates how to use the iOS feature, AssistiveTouch . The video appears on the Apple Support accounts on Twitter and YouTube .
Below is a summary of additional content to come later in the month, as well as some noteworthy services made available recently.
Disability Schools Education Pricing. In line with the longstanding policy in which educators and students at K-12 and college institutions get discount pricing on Apple products, the company is extending the same deal to faculty, support staff, and homeschoolers who are working with students receiving special education services. These include state-run schools for the blind and deaf, as well as members of the Council of Schools & Services for the Blind . It should be emphasized this is not a new universal discount for buyers with disabilities, a topic that has made some headlines of late. It's still fundamentally aimed at education.
Remote Learning Resources. As mentioned at the outset, Apple has been providing comprehensive resources for educators and parents who are homeschooling in the wake of the...