Apple Looks Back on 30 Years of Americans With Disabilities Act

Apple sharing an article published today in which he discusses the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the company’s accessibility features.

30th anniversary

The post mentions Apple’s accessible features such as Siri, Switch Control, VoiceOver and Text to Speech, and shares the stories of disability rights activists and artists.

Matthew Whitaker, a jazz musician, explains how he uses Apple products:

When I’m ready to record my music, I use Logic Pro X on my MacBook Pro. I usually record the drums first, then add bass, then add whatever I need. With VoiceOver enabled, I can navigate the software very well. After the piece is finished, I can share the audio. I then create braille music using Dancing Dots’ Lime Aloud software. This software not only produces braille music, but I can also print sheet music for my band members.

Jazz musician Matthew Whitaker records music in Logic Pro X using VoiceOver to navigate the software.

Haben Girma, disability rights lawyer, speaker and author, shared her experiences:

As a deafblind college student, I saw advocates use the Americans with Disabilities Act to force tech companies to make digital services accessible. Impressed by the success of these activists, I felt inspired to join them. Back then, and even now, I encountered many obstacles in the digital world. Not because of my disability, but because of the attitudes of technology developers who trivialize access to people with disabilities.

Disability rights lawyer Haben Girma uses MacBook Pro and a braille display to communicate.

Disability rights lawyer Haben Girma uses MacBook Pro and a braille display to communicate.

There are more stories in the article, including one from Dean Hudson, an Apple accessibility tech evangelist who is part of the original team behind VoiceOver. “Thirty years after signing the ADA, its benefits really show in such results. I went to school and got human reading code on the screen, but now people can use these tools and get engineering jobs. It is enormous.”

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