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Last week, inaccurate reporting emerged in regards to Apple’s work on making its products accessible to all consumers. As many Apple customers are aware, and as CEO Tim Cook takes extremely seriously, Apple works hard to ensure that Macs, iPhones, iPods, and iPads can be used to their full extent by people who are deaf or blind, for example. In response to the reporting (Philip Elmer-DeWitt has a good summary of the original reporting and takedowns at Fortune), Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, has published a comprehensive blog post describing Apple’s work on accessibility, the technology industry as a whole, the resolution regarding iOS device accessibility, and what can be done to improve accessibility of third-party apps into the future.

The full blog post can be read here, but here is a key line that should further dispute last week’s inaccurate reports: “Apple has done more for accessibility than any other company to date, and we have duly recognized this by presenting the company with at least two awards (including our annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award) and publicly praising it whenever the opportunity arises.” The blog post goes on to explain that the Federation believes Apple could work further with App Store developers on making all of the more than one million App Store apps more accessible to all users. “We simply want Apple to continue to discuss with us what measures the company can put in place to ensure accessibility,” the blog post reads.

It is also worth watching Cook’s speech regarding human rights and accessibility, below:

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8 Responses to “National Federation of the Blind says ‘Apple has done more for accessibility than any other company’”

  1. I’m glad they’ve clarified the situation. Apple is way ahead of many other companies in this area and they shouldn’t be torn down and accused otherwise. Their products are above and beyond when it comes to accessibility – though there are areas for improvement. No doubt, they will address current shortcomings, but even so they’re doing a great job so far.


  2. ctxppc says:

    If only the App Store tagged accessible apps and promoted them in a separate category, for all those developers that have taken 5% more time—that’s at least for me, it may take less or more than that—to ensure everybody can enjoy their hard work. Apple takes a lot of steps to make it easy for developers. Around 1 in 5 people have a disability—using a broad definition and including lower-income regions with associated low smartphone ownership—so it’s not a small matter.


  3. rettun1 says:

    And if rumors of an iPhone with haptic feedback are true, I see it being of even greater use to blind people


  4. I think the National Federation of the Blind is wrong, If Apple has done so much for the “blinds”,
    how come there are still rooms for Android and/or Windows?

    …… get it? =)


  5. Apple should take a little more interest in refuting false reports. Those damn reports think they can get away with any lies they make up. Apple should try and ruin their careers as reporters.


    • herb02135go says:

      Interesting, coming from a lobbying group that threatened to sue Apple.
      Well at least it keeps Apple out of another courtroom.

      I’d like to see Apple go after misleading reports, right Steffen? Because secret arrangements to keep employees from practicing their trades has worked out so well for the company.
      Maybe Samsung will go after certain Apple websites and reporters, too.
      That will all work out real well. Not.


  6. Hi, I know this is not the fairest way of marketing but still. We have just finished our first game aimed to entertain blind users. (what a coincidence) I do not really know where to promote. It was tester by blind users and they said it is fun :)

    Please check it out. Here:


  7. standardpull says:

    Ii commute with a guy that is blind. He is a scientist and uses a lot of tech in his job, and he loves to talk too. During our commute he can give a lot of color commentary on the state of accessibility.

    And so I found it surprising that the reporter called out Apple as a bad player. Because my commuter friend clearly thinks quite differently than the report suggests.

    I wonder how many disabled people the reporter knows and spends time with.