Apple honored with Louis Braille Award for efforts in device accessibility

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2017
The Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired on Friday featured Apple as a corporate honoree at the 57th annual Louis Braille Awards, a ceremony that recognizes those who contribute to the blind and visually impaired community.


Source: Tim Cook via Twitter


Announced through the ASB's website, Apple received the prestigious Braille Award for its efforts in building accessibility functions into products like iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac.

An institution since 1957, the Louis Braille Award honors individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions on behalf of individuals who are blind or visually impaired, the ASB says. The award has also been handed out to blind or visually impaired people who overcome great obstacles to accomplish outstanding achievements.

Apple engineer Jordyn Castor, who has been blind since birth, was among those who accepted the award on behalf of the company. Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed gratitude for the award and congratulated the company's accessibility team for their work in a tweet today.

A rundown of Apple's accomplishments in the accessibility space is provided on the award's official website. The company tweaked its boilerplate company statement to highlight efforts for the blind and visually impaired, including mention of Mac, the first platform to incorporate a full featured screen reader directly into its operating system. Apple also touts iOS for delivering the first devices with accessible touchscreen displays and Apple Watch for being the first "accessible consumer wearable."

The company notes braille is supported across both Mac and iOS device lineups with braille tables for more than 25 languages and support for over 70 models of refreshable braille displays.

Apple is considered an industry leader in device accessibility and has in the past been recognized for its efforts in the space. In 2015, the company received the American Foundation for the Blind's Helen Keller Achievement Award for creating and implementing VoiceOver screen reader technology across its computing platforms.

Beyond accolades, Apple consistently promotes awareness for disabled users. Last year, for example, accessibility advocate Haben Girma was invited to address developers at a special Worldwide Developers Conference session covering product design and utility.

Continuing efforts in the area, Apple during October's "Hello Again" MacBook Pro event launched a special mini-site that highlights the many accessibility features built into its various products. A month later, the company integrated AirPods-style streaming and Live Listen accessibility to MFi hearing aids.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,517member
    This is what I really love about Apple: they show that you can make the effort to pursue goals that are not directly profitable because they are the right thing to do. We see this in a number of areas, such as HealthKit, and in efforts large and small to be inclusive to those with disabilities or learning issues. There's always more to be done, but it is nice to see such a large corporation remember to take time and effort to help those who need it most, as well.
    StrangeDayscanadiandudeboredumbNotsofastfracSoliRayz2016watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 12
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,060member
    What about Apple’s “competitors”? How do they stand up in the light of this announcement?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,583member
    chasm said:
    This is what I really love about Apple: they show that you can make the effort to pursue goals that are not directly profitable because they are the right thing to do. We see this in a number of areas, such as HealthKit, and in efforts large and small to be inclusive to those with disabilities or learning issues. There's always more to be done, but it is nice to see such a large corporation remember to take time and effort to help those who need it most, as well.
    lkrupp said:
    What about Apple’s “competitors”? How do they stand up in the light of this announcement?
    Why not just be happy with Apple receiving well-deserved recognition? It doesn't always have to be "Yeah but... but...  Google/Android/Microsoft/Samsung... LOL" That's why threads sometimes unintentionally go off track (with the blame for it very often misplaced). But since you want to bring "competitors" into the conversation:

    If you're including Google as a competitor they spend a lot of engineering talent and money on goals that are not directly profitable "because it's the right thing to do". That's what many of the "moonshots"are.
    If you're referring to specifically the visually-impaired Google has been honored in previous years by the American Federation for the Blind for their efforts at making access to services available, offers $Millions in grants each year thru the Google Impact Challenge to organizations working to increase accessibility for the visually or otherwise disabled, and Google's Android has long included Talkback along with Brailleback.
      https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/6006589?hl=en
      https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/3535226

    To be fair Microsoft too offers many accessibility options in their products, tho I'm not up to speed with most of them.

    What Apple has been particularly good with is using their high-profile position to highlight the some of the problems of the disabled, what can/should be done, and raising public awareness of solutions (preferably Apple ones of course) available thru mobile devices. Apple's ability to get their message out to the the press and the public in a positive way is second-to-none. Apple deserves the awards they receive. 
    edited January 2017 frac
  • Reply 4 of 12
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    Ironic in the face of having removed a whole row of physical keys to replace them with a touchbar that is utterly useless without sight.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    gatorguy said:
    chasm said:
    This is what I really love about Apple: they show that you can make the effort to pursue goals that are not directly profitable because they are the right thing to do. We see this in a number of areas, such as HealthKit, and in efforts large and small to be inclusive to those with disabilities or learning issues. There's always more to be done, but it is nice to see such a large corporation remember to take time and effort to help those who need it most, as well.
    lkrupp said:
    What about Apple’s “competitors”? How do they stand up in the light of this announcement?
    Why not just be happy with Apple receiving well-deserved recognition? It doesn't always have to be "Yeah but... but...  Google/Android/Microsoft/Samsung... LOL" That's why threads sometimes unintentionally go off track (with the blame for it very often misplaced). But since you want to bring "competitors" into the conversation:

    If you're including Google as a competitor they spend a lot of engineering talent and money on goals that are not directly profitable "because it's the right thing to do". That's what many of the "moonshots"are. 
    Must...defend...google...Must defend...

    Are you honestly comparing unprofitable moonshots to the sort of initiatives apple is known for and criticized on earnings calls for such their Accessibility and Green endeavors?
    watto_cobradamn_its_hot
  • Reply 6 of 12

    g-news said:
    Ironic in the face of having removed a whole row of physical keys to replace them with a touchbar that is utterly useless without sight.
    Bunk. By that same logic the entire iphone is a fail since  it has no buttons. You know, entirely a touch screen. Yet blind people love it because the software makes it accessible to them. 

    So I don't think you know what you're talking about regarding the TouchBar. 
    edited January 2017 Notsofastlenawatto_cobradamn_its_hot
  • Reply 7 of 12
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,583member
    gatorguy said:
    chasm said:
    This is what I really love about Apple: they show that you can make the effort to pursue goals that are not directly profitable because they are the right thing to do. We see this in a number of areas, such as HealthKit, and in efforts large and small to be inclusive to those with disabilities or learning issues. There's always more to be done, but it is nice to see such a large corporation remember to take time and effort to help those who need it most, as well.
    lkrupp said:
    What about Apple’s “competitors”? How do they stand up in the light of this announcement?
    Why not just be happy with Apple receiving well-deserved recognition? It doesn't always have to be "Yeah but... but...  Google/Android/Microsoft/Samsung... LOL" That's why threads sometimes unintentionally go off track (with the blame for it very often misplaced). But since you want to bring "competitors" into the conversation:

    If you're including Google as a competitor they spend a lot of engineering talent and money on goals that are not directly profitable "because it's the right thing to do". That's what many of the "moonshots"are. 
    Must...defend...google...Must defend...

    Are you honestly comparing unprofitable moonshots to the sort of initiatives apple is known for and criticized on earnings calls for such their Accessibility and Green endeavors?
    Read more. I answered a question posed by another member. I'll also guess that you've not bothered to look into Google's green energy endeavors or you wouldn't be asking that question. 

    And for the record neither Apple nor Google is apparently being entirely upfront about the source of their power they use. Both still rely in large part on traditional and sometimes dirty coal despite the glowing PR pieces. 
    http://www.theenergyfix.com/2016/02/11/new-data-debunks-clean-energy-claims-by-apple-amazon-google/
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexepstein/2016/01/08/the-truth-about-apples-100-renewable-energy-usage/#1d62218a3256

    And no I'll not have another comment on that particular point in this thread nor should anyone else. Anyone who wants to should start a new thread instead of distracting from this one. I posted that as a reminder that the things we think are true from reading a PR release may not be entirely 100% accurate, and only because you brought it up. 

    So just enjoy this thread, give kudos to Apple as they rightly deserve and feel good about the company whose products you enjoy. It doesn't require trying to make another company look bad in order to appreciate what Apple does. 
    edited January 2017 frac
  • Reply 8 of 12
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    chasm said:
    This is what I really love about Apple: they show that you can make the effort to pursue goals that are not directly profitable because they are the right thing to do. We see this in a number of areas, such as HealthKit, and in efforts large and small to be inclusive to those with disabilities or learning issues. There's always more to be done, but it is nice to see such a large corporation remember to take time and effort to help those who need it most, as well.
    lkrupp said:
    What about Apple’s “competitors”? How do they stand up in the light of this announcement?
    Why not just be happy with Apple receiving well-deserved recognition? It doesn't always have to be "Yeah but... but...  Google/Android/Microsoft/Samsung... LOL" That's why threads sometimes unintentionally go off track (with the blame for it very often misplaced). But since you want to bring "competitors" into the conversation:

    If you're including Google as a competitor they spend a lot of engineering talent and money on goals that are not directly profitable "because it's the right thing to do". That's what many of the "moonshots"are. 
    Must...defend...google...Must defend...

    Are you honestly comparing unprofitable moonshots to the sort of initiatives apple is known for and criticized on earnings calls for such their Accessibility and Green endeavors?
    Read more. I answered a question posed by another member. I'll also guess that you've not bothered to look into Google's green energy endeavors or you wouldn't be asking that question. 

    And for the record neither Apple nor Google is apparently being entirely upfront about the source of their power they use. Both still rely in large part on traditional and sometimes dirty coal despite the glowing PR pieces. 
    http://www.theenergyfix.com/2016/02/11/new-data-debunks-clean-energy-claims-by-apple-amazon-google/
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexepstein/2016/01/08/the-truth-about-apples-100-renewable-energy-usage/#1d62218a3256

    And no I'll not have another comment on that particular point in this thread nor should anyone else. Anyone who wants to should start a new thread instead of distracting from this one. I posted that as a reminder that the things we think are true from reading a PR release may not be entirely 100% accurate, and only because you brought it up. 

    So just enjoy this thread, give kudos to Apple as they rightly deserve and feel good about the company whose products you enjoy. It doesn't require trying to make another company look bad in order to appreciate what Apple does. 


    You're being a hypocrite.  This was simply a nice, simple article about an organization recognizing the great work Apple has done to help vision impaired folks, and yes someone asked an illl timed question, but instead of letting it go you couldn't resist amplifying it into another Google versus Apple and then taking a jab at Apple over their laudable, but imperfect award winning environmental efforts, ending with denigrating this award as just a "PR release."  Sad.
    watto_cobraStrangeDays
  • Reply 9 of 12
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,583member
    Notsofast said:
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    chasm said:
    This is what I really love about Apple: they show that you can make the effort to pursue goals that are not directly profitable because they are the right thing to do. We see this in a number of areas, such as HealthKit, and in efforts large and small to be inclusive to those with disabilities or learning issues. There's always more to be done, but it is nice to see such a large corporation remember to take time and effort to help those who need it most, as well.
    lkrupp said:
    What about Apple’s “competitors”? How do they stand up in the light of this announcement?
    Why not just be happy with Apple receiving well-deserved recognition? It doesn't always have to be "Yeah but... but...  Google/Android/Microsoft/Samsung... LOL" That's why threads sometimes unintentionally go off track (with the blame for it very often misplaced). But since you want to bring "competitors" into the conversation:

    If you're including Google as a competitor they spend a lot of engineering talent and money on goals that are not directly profitable "because it's the right thing to do". That's what many of the "moonshots"are. 
    Must...defend...google...Must defend...

    Are you honestly comparing unprofitable moonshots to the sort of initiatives apple is known for and criticized on earnings calls for such their Accessibility and Green endeavors?
    Read more. I answered a question posed by another member. I'll also guess that you've not bothered to look into Google's green energy endeavors or you wouldn't be asking that question. 

    And for the record neither Apple nor Google is apparently being entirely upfront about the source of their power they use. Both still rely in large part on traditional and sometimes dirty coal despite the glowing PR pieces. 
    http://www.theenergyfix.com/2016/02/11/new-data-debunks-clean-energy-claims-by-apple-amazon-google/
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexepstein/2016/01/08/the-truth-about-apples-100-renewable-energy-usage/#1d62218a3256

    And no I'll not have another comment on that particular point in this thread nor should anyone else. Anyone who wants to should start a new thread instead of distracting from this one. I posted that as a reminder that the things we think are true from reading a PR release may not be entirely 100% accurate, and only because you brought it up. 

    So just enjoy this thread, give kudos to Apple as they rightly deserve and feel good about the company whose products you enjoy. It doesn't require trying to make another company look bad in order to appreciate what Apple does. 


    You're being a hypocrite. 
    Opinion noted...
    and after reflection I somewhat agree. Thank you for pointing it out for me. I did not need to respond and thus add to an attempt to distract from the article topic so an apology from me is in order. For the record tho I was at least an equal-opportunity denigrator on the subject of green power, not singling out one company.
    edited January 2017
  • Reply 10 of 12
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,802member

    g-news said:
    Ironic in the face of having removed a whole row of physical keys to replace them with a touchbar that is utterly useless without sight.
    Bunk. By that same logic the entire iphone is a fail since  it has no buttons. You know, entirely a touch screen. Yet blind people love it because the software makes it accessible to them. 

    So I don't think you know what you're talking about regarding the TouchBar. 
    Not only is his claim false, but just like the iPhone it's better for the blind because of the accessibly features Apple has built into their OSes.

    gatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 12
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,591member
    Soli said:

    g-news said:
    Ironic in the face of having removed a whole row of physical keys to replace them with a touchbar that is utterly useless without sight.
    Bunk. By that same logic the entire iphone is a fail since  it has no buttons. You know, entirely a touch screen. Yet blind people love it because the software makes it accessible to them. 

    So I don't think you know what you're talking about regarding the TouchBar. 
    Not only is his claim false, but just like the iPhone it's better for the blind because of the accessibly features Apple has built into their OSes.

    Move your finger over the touch bar and VoiceOver tells you what the button does. 

    Use your finger to magnify items on the touch bar. 

    Thanks for posting. I had no idea. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 12
    Apple is so good about making their other products accessible that it’s mystifying to me why they don’t let you display your local iTunes library on an Apple TV as a grid rather than a list of titles. That would help my sister immensely.
    watto_cobra
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