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Apple earns Helen Keller Achievement Award for VoiceOver technology

by Killian Bell | June 19, 2015June 19, 2015 4:11 am PDT


Apple has received the Helen Keller Achievement Award for its efforts to make technology more accessible with VoiceOver, the tool baked into iOS and Mac OS X, which describes what’s happening on screen for those with vision impairment.

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) described Apple as “game-changing, transformative, awesome.” AFB Vice President Paul Schroder added, “VoiceOver came out… and the world changed.”

VoiceOver is part of the accessibility features built into both iOS, OS X, and now watchOS. Once activated, it reads out what’s on screen to help those who are unable to see to use its devices. Not only does VoiceOver work in Apple’s own apps, but inside third-party applications, too.

VoiceOver is also customizable; users can alter the speed of the voice, add sound effects for buttons and other items, and more.

To celebrate its award, Apple launched a new App Store section dedicated to the very best VoiceOver-compatible apps. Some of the titles include Flipboard, YouTube, Twitterrific 5, Instapaper, WhatsApp, and Skype. Apple’s own iWork apps — Pages, Numbers, and Keynote — are also included.

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Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...