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Apple beefs up Accessibility apps and product focus ahead of GAAD on May 19

by Todd Haselton | May 10, 2016May 10, 2016 4:40 pm PST

Apple recently beefed up its array of accessibility products with a host of new features in the App Store, iTunes and even directly on Apple.com. The features are rolling out ahead of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on May 19.

Third-party accessibility accessories are now available direct from Apple.com where shoppers will find 15 different products ranging from the HumanWare Brailliant BI 32 Braille Display ($2,594.95) to the Skoogmusic Skoog 2.0 Tactile Musical Interface. The Skoog 2.0 is a fun musical instrument that integrates with an iTunes library and allows you to create music using a tactile cube paired with an iPad.

Apple also recently added a new accessibility section to iTunes that better caters to folks with low vision or without any vision at all. Users will find new audio descriptions that allow them to listen to the descriptions of new movies, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens and many others.

Additionally, there’s a new “Accessibility” section of the iOS App Store that’s full of free and paid applications sorted into categories such as “Vision”, “Hearing”, “Speech” and “Physical and Motor.” One example is an app called “TapTapSee” that’s designed to “help the blind and visually impaired identify objects they encounter in their daily lives.” There’s even a special area for applications that integrate with Siri and your smart home.

Nice work, Apple – now let’s see if we can get other companies to follow suit.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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