Some Global Accessibility Awareness Day Follow-Up

I tweeted this last night:

That tweet was received very positively. Although the disappointment remains, I was happy to learn today about a (non-tech) podcast, Autastic, whose hosts did cover Apple’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day efforts last week.

Autastic is hosted by comedians Graham Kay and Kirk Smith, both of whom have family members on the autism spectrum. The hosts dedicated a special three-part series of interviews—episodes 89–91—to celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day with an Apple flair.

In the first episode, Smith interviews Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s Senior Manager of Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives. Herrlinger describes Apple’s mission statement for supporting accessibility, describes some accessibility features, and shares how she became interested in assistive technologies.

The second episode features an interview with Sooinn Lee, CEO of Enuma. Enuma is a company that, according to its website, “designs exceptional learning tools to empower children—including those with special needs—to be independent learners." They develop several education-oriented apps for iOS and Android, including Todo Math and Todo Telling Time.

The final episode features Andreas Forsland, maker of the Smartstones app. What Smartstones does is help people with limited or no verbal communication skills communicate via simple physical gestures. The app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. In addition, Smartstones works with switch-like headsets from Emotiv for users with limited or no movement.

As someone whose background is in special education and autism, I found these interviews to be really great. If you’re someone who cares about accessibility and apps, give these episodes a listen. They’re short in length, and well worth your time.