Posted on August 27, 2022 in response to Apple-Accessibility In response to Apple-Accessibility
Accessibility is important to me because it is the great democratising ideal - it creates a space where everything is available to everybody. We know that in the same way a natural ecosystem benefits from the greatest biodiversity of flora, so too does our society benefit from the greatest diversity of individuals coming together and sharing ideas. That is the power that accessibility has, to provide a pathway for fostering a society of abundant diversity.
That's also what I love about Apple technology, it is a model of universal design in terms of how it leverages diversity through accessibility. When I was first introducing colleagues to the power of accessibility for our students I used to talk about riding on a bus - I'd say, look around you on a bus, you have someone over there on their Apple device checking the bus timetable, on the other seat you have someone checking their maps to make sure they're going the right way, and next to them is someone looking through their photos. And, you have one of our students, a neurodiverse student using their iPad to read a social story to help them prepare for a job interview, and over there, another of our students, using an augmentative and alternative communication app to talk with a friend. And guess what, everybody is using the same device - our students aren't using niche hardware just manufactured for the special education space, they are using the same devices as everybody on that bus. Twenty years ago that wasn't the case, but it sure is now. That's the power of accessibility, to put the same tools in reach of a diverse community of learners and see how they use them to access the world.
Accessibility is our future, and I'm thrilled to be part of it.
Education is a great equalizing force, and our goal is to enable all people to learn and create in the ways that work best for them. We believe that technology should be accessible to everyone — a great example is Sady Paulson, an Apple Distinguished Educator, who used Switch Control on a Mac to edit the video embedded below.
Sady's video includes both Audio Descriptions and Closed Captions. To increase accessibility in all of your forum posts, add descriptions to images and closed caption files to videos. Tag all accessibility-related posts with Accessibility and Inclusion to make it easier for others to join the conversation. Learn more at www.apple.com/accessibility.
Why is accessibility important to you? Share your reflections about how accessibility has impacted you and/or your students in the discussion below.