Apple celebrates Global Accessibility Awareness Day with new features, more

To celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day on Thursday, May 18, Apple has announced that it’s introducing new features, curated collections, and more.

  • SignTime will launch in Germany, Italy, Spain, and South Korea on May 18 to connect Apple Store and Apple Support customers with on-demand sign language interpreters. The service is already available for customers in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Australia, and Japan.5 
  • Select Apple Store locations around the world are offering informative sessions throughout the week to help customers discover accessibility features, and Apple Carnegie Library will feature a Today at Apple session with sign language performer and interpreter Justina Miles. And with group reservations — available year-round — Apple Store locations are a place where community groups can learn about accessibility features together.
  • Shortcuts adds Remember This, which helps users with cognitive disabilities create a visual diary in Notes for easy reference and reflection.
  • This week, Apple Podcasts will offer a collection of shows about the impact of accessible technology; the Apple TV app is featuring movies and series curated by notable storytellers from the disability community; Apple Books will spotlight Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist, the memoir by disability rights pioneer Judith Heumann; and Apple Music will feature cross-genre American Sign Language (ASL) music videos.
  • This week in Apple Fitness+, trainer Jamie-Ray Hartshorne incorporates ASL while highlighting features available to users that are part of an ongoing effort to make fitness more accessible to all. Features include Audio Hints, which provide additional short descriptive verbal cues to support users who are blind or low vision, and Time to Walk and Time to Run episodes become “Time to Walk or Push” and “Time to Run or Push” for wheelchair users. Additionally, Fitness+ trainers incorporate ASL into every workout and meditation, all videos include closed captioning in six languages, and trainers demonstrate modifications in workouts so users at different levels can join in.
  • TheApp Store will spotlight three disability community leaders — Aloysius Gan, Jordyn Zimmerman, and Bradley Heaven — each of whom will share their experiences as nonspeaking individuals and the transformative effects of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps in their lives.
Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.