Help is on the way for Apple users with vision impairment or cognitive disabilities.

Geoff Cook
Geoff Cook Member (Full) Posts: 17

Help is on the way for Apple users with vision impairment or cognitive disabilities.

Last month was Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). Apple previewed some new features in support of cognitive accessibility, personal voice, live speech, and more. 

The most significant update is "Assistive Access," designed to support users with cognitive disabilities. It provides a custom, simplified experience for the phone, FaceTime, Messages, Camera, Photos, and Music apps. That includes a "distinct interface with high contrast buttons and large text labels" along with tools that trusted supporters for each individual can customize. 

The aim is to break down technological barriers for people with cognitive disabilities. This article by Engadget goes into greater detail. Apple's Assistive Access simplifies iOS 16 for people with cognitive disabilities.

Here's a video by Proper Honest Tech with tips on making your phone work better for your needs within the upcoming iOS update.

I am an Apple user. I'm pretty plugged into the ecosystem with my computer, phone, and watch. I do not have any visual impairments, but I use the accessibility dot to help me execute things like screenshots because the actual button combination is frankly complex for me to manage. I am really excited by these updates because it means that they are listening to their consumers, more specifically, the ones with different types of disabilities. I'm excited about what conversations this may lead to in the future.

Do you have a smartphone? If so, what platform do you prefer, Apple or Android? What features regarding accessibility do you like, and which features could you do without if it's not your phone? What's one piece of assistive technology that you couldn't go without?


  • Meryl Evans
    Meryl Evans Member (Full) Posts: 16

    Visual alert options (haptics, popup, or badge) and Live Captions. Android's Live Captions are better, but I prefer the iPhone and Apple Watch. They now have Live Captions. They're not as good as Android but it's a start. I'm grateful Apple released them in beta so we could have the captions sooner.

  • Geoff Cook
    Geoff Cook Member (Full) Posts: 17

    Hi Meryl. Thank you for your comment. I am curious what do you prefer about the Apple Watch? Is it just that you are in the Apple ecosystem? Are there specific technological advantages?