Apple previewed some exciting new accessibility features yesterday and today, it is celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) across many of its platforms like the App Store, Shortcuts app, TV app, Maps, Fitness+, Today at Apple sessions in its stores, and more.
Ahead of GAAD, Apple previewed a range of new accessibility features coming later this year. That includes AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch, eye-tracking for iPad, exploring images with VoiceOver, Background Sounds, and more.
Arriving today, May 20 for GAAD is a great new resource called SignTime, sign language support to connect with AppleCare and Apple Retail Customer Care teams.
And to further celebrate GAAD, Apple is highlighting accessibility across its platforms.
There are three new App Store features today including awesome and accessible apps for creators, the accessible games collection, and a profile of Lucy Edwards, a TikTok star who is blind (including her favorite apps).
And there is a lot more to check out across Fitness+, Shortcuts for Accessibility, live and virtual Today at Apple sessions in ASL and BSL, recommendations in the Apple TV app and Apple Books, and more.
Here’s how Apple describes all the accessibility highlights:
- This week in Apple Fitness+, trainer and award-winning adaptive athlete Amir Ekbatani talks about Apple’s commitment to making Fitness+ as accessible and inclusive as possible. Fitness+ features workouts inviting to all, from trainers using sign language in each workout to say “Welcome” or “Great job!,” to “Time to Walk” episodes changing to “Time to Walk or Push” for wheelchair workouts on Apple Watch, and all videos include closed captioning. Fitness+ also includes a trainer demonstrating modifications in each workout, so users at all levels can join in.
- The Shortcuts for Accessibility Gallery provides useful Siri Shortcuts for tracking medications and supporting daily routines, and a new Accessibility Assistant Shortcut helps people discover Apple’s built-in features and resources for personalizing them.
- Today at Apple is offering live, virtual sessions in ASL and BSL throughout the day on May 20 that teach the basics of iPhone and iPad for people with disabilities. In some regions, Today at Apple will offer increased availability of Accessibility sessions in stores, through May 30.
- In the App Store, customers can read stories about Lucy Edwards, an influencer on TikTok who is blind and shares her favorite accessible apps; App of the Day FiLMiC Pro, which is among the most accessible video apps for blind and low vision filmmakers; and more in the new Express Yourself Your Way collection.
- The Apple TV app will spotlight its Barrier-Breaking Characters collection which celebrates authentic disability representation onscreen and behind the camera. It features guest curation from creators and artists like the cast of “Best Summer Ever,” who share their favorite movies and shows in an editorial experience designed by American Pop-Op and Urban Folk artist Tennessee Loveless, known for his vibrant illustrations and colorful storytelling told through the lens of his colorblindness.
- Apple Books adds reading recommendations from author and disability rights activist Judith Heumann, along with other themed collections.
- Apple Maps features new guides from Gallaudet University, the world’s premier university for Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deafblind students, that help connect users to businesses and organizations that value, embrace, and prioritize the Deaf community and signed languages.
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