Tim Cook meets with YouTubers to celebrate accessibility

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 12.08.20 Apple is working hard to make sure its
products can be used by everyone.
Photo: Apple

A cup of coffee with Tim Cook
can cost thousands of dollars
, but to mark Global
Accessibility Awareness Day Apple’s CEO has made an exception.

To promote
Apple’s stance on Accessibility, Apple invited three YouTubers
with disabilities to its campus for a cup of joe and a casual
chat with Tim Cook. In their brief interviews, they
discuss everything from the challenge of getting Apple
Watch algorithms to recognize wheelchair movement to Apple’s
history as a company with values.

Check them out below.

Accessible Hollywood

James Rath

Rikki Poynter

The videos
don’t necessarily cover a whole lot of new ground, although
they’re certainly interesting viewing as a reminder of just how
seriously Apple takes the subject of accessibility. For
instance, Cook reiterates what he told
investors a few years ago
in terms of not being overly
concerned about return-on-investment when it comes to making
Apple products accessible to all.

He also talks about Apple’s mission for democratizing
technology, and describes how Apple has always been a company
values it wants to share with the world

There are also a few neat tidbits, like the aforementioned
discussion of the Apple Watch’s wheelchair rolling algorithms,
which Cook said presented a challenge since wheelchair users
often use their chairs very differently — which made it tough
to track movement.

There’s also a brief discussion of Pokémon
(apparently there are Pokémon to be
found in the Apple cafeteria), and about Tim Cook’s favorite
hobby — which he describes as weightlifting.

The importance of Accessibility

The new videos arrived one day after Apple
debuted a series of “Designed for” videos
 on its
YouTube channel, depciting how Apple’s Accessibility features
can help users such as a visually-impared DJ who uses the
award-winning VoiceOver feature
to work.

Although Apple has long embraced Accessibility tools, this has
really ramped up in recent years under Cook’s leadership. For
example, last year
Apple opened a new section
of its online store where
shoppers can find a range of accessibility gadgets. These are
split up into vision, physical and motor skills, and learning
and literacy categories, and feature products for Mac, iPhone,
and iPad.

Good work, Apple!

%d bloggers like this: