Apple early this morning shared a new pair of videos on its YouTube channel highlighting the effect that technology has on those with special needs. As this month is Autism Acceptance Month, the video, called “Dillan’s Voice,” features a teenager named Dillan and shows how he uses Apple products to express his thoughts.
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Dillan is autistic and nonverbal but yet has very complex and powerful thoughts that he is able to express using his iPad with an augmented and alternative communication app. Dillan has been using his iPad to help communicate for around three years and the product has quickly become an integral part of his daily life. The iPad allows Dillan to communicate with his peers, his family, and his teachers, something his mom says is “incredible” to her. “Hearing Dillan’s voice is incredible,” Dillan’s mother says. “He’s insightful and smart and creative.”
The two-minute short film shows Dillan using his iPad around the house, in school, and in various social settings to express his thoughts.
Autism Acceptance Month is dedicated to the stories of people like Dillan. His words remind us how important it is to ensure everyone with a voice can be heard.
In a separate video called “Dillan’s Path,” Apple shares interviews with Dillan’s mother and his communication partner, who both express the monumental effect that technology has had on Dillan’s life:
Autism Acceptance Month acknowledges that every autistic person’s path is unique. For Dillan, the dedication of his loved ones, years of hard work and his iPad made a big difference in how he connects with others. Hear Dillan, his mother and his therapist / communication partner share that journey.
Apple has been recognized in the past for its accessibility features. Last year, the American Foundation for the Blind honored Apple with the Helen Keller Achievement Awards for its VoiceOver functionality. The foundation has also said in the past that Apple has done “more for accessibility than any other company.”
“Dillan’s Voice” and “Dillan’s Path” can both be seen below: