What Now for Apple Accessibility? [#accessibility #a11y]

Without the option of a Job’s return, will Apple once more sacrifice software and systems quality? If so then I would imagine VoiceOver to be on the hit list of ‘things we can pay lip service too’.

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What Now for Accessibility at Apple?


With the untimely death of Steve Jobs – I wonder ‘what now for accessibility at Apple?’ You may think this is a strange question, Steve Jobs not being know for his accessibility insights, and I’d agree – but all I can go on is hearsay.

People in the know suggest the nothing at Apple got by the micro-managing control-freak attitude of Jobs, still others suggest that Apple’s accessibility people are very committed (I don’t know, I don’t know any of them). My problem is that accessibility on OSX and iOS could have been taken lightly, as just a way to sell computers to the US government – but shock, it wasn’t.

What has evolved is an accessibility killer app on the mac, iPhone, and iPad and this must have been sanctioned by Jobs. Not sloppy work with minimal effort and people, but people with commitment to accessibility, not to platitudes, economics, and a quick sales pitch. The refinements of VoiceOver on Apple products is something for the company to be proud of and something that must not of escaped Steve Jobs. So in this case what what will happen now?

Will there be a return to non visionary, accountancy led management at Apple, pursuing what seems in the short term like good economic goals at the expense of visionary dreams? The last time this happened it was economics which won out, and a reduction in quality, vision, and aspiration which inevitable lead to just the opposite – a reduction in profit and a return to the tiller for Steve Jobs. Without the option of a Job’s return, will Apple once more sacrifice software and systems quality? If so then I would imagine VoiceOver to be on the hit list of ‘things we can pay lip service too’.

Let’s see if VoiceOver innovation remains high – or starts to decline. I hope I’m wrong but the rot won’t be visible for another 2-3 years I imagine!

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4 thoughts on “What Now for Apple Accessibility? [#accessibility #a11y]

  1. Pingback: What Now for Apple Accessibility? [#accessibility #a11y] | Thinking ... | Web accessibility | Scoop.it

  2. Their management and design people don’t really seem to grasp the basic concept of accessibility. For example – why has the scroll bar (which I still use) gotten narrower? Why are the “stoplight” buttons smaller? Why is there so much grey type on a grey or white background (i.e. in Safari and iCal). And most of all, why are Filemaker and even Bento so awkward to use?

  3. Pingback: Accessibility at Apple – One Year On | Thinking Out Loud…

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