Is Apple accessibility the best kept secret?
There is no question that Apple products are an integral part of my daily life and I shudder to think what I would do without them. But, and it's a big but, I am downright furious with Apple Inc. Why? Because, despite being lobbied a gazillion times by as many people, they fail to recognise or understand the importance of engaging with disabled people.
For a whole host of commercial, social and economic reasons, so many disabled people are excluded from using Apple products. What really irks me is that they know all about it and just do nothing.
Sure. They make totally awesome inclusive products that have inbuilt accessibility features, but if they don't participate in the processes that get people hooked up with assistive technology, then the people who could benefit from their products will not be able to do so. What's the point in expending so much energy on making products accessible to disabled people if you're not going to let them know about it?
Last year, after feeling infuriated about this exact state of affairs, I wrote a blog about what I referred to as Apple's corporate inaccessibility. This led to a few meetings at Apple UK HQ in London, which led to nothing. They paid me lip service and, after a long slog, I ran out of steam.
I am not a girl who regrets, but I am also not a girl who gives up, particularly when, a year on, nothing has changed. However, after Apple's notable absence from both SXSW and CSUN this year, the reality is that, even if I had persevered, I still would have gotten nowhere.
Apple seem to be the tech equivalent of Fort Knox. No one is getting in and no one is coming out. Only Steve Jobs talks to the the press and I am not going to revisit the indignity of sitting in meetings with corporate folk, nodding their heads as I talk, whilst they're thinking about what they'll be having for dinner.
However, that doesn't mean that I am just going to kick back with my iEverything and accept defeat. I can't. I feel like I have let the side down. I dropped the proverbial ball and, for that, I hang my head low.
I don't know if I am going to be able to penetrate Fort Knox, but If I am going to try, I will need more than my big gob. I'll need folk to share their stories of getting hooked up with assistive technology and to let me know where, if at all, Apple products and training fit into the mix. You can drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.