On Accessibility & the Apple Store

David Chartier recounts the time he was helped by Ryan, a blind Apple Store employee:

The iPhone 4 was the last time I stood in line for launch day. It was at the Michigan Ave. Apple Store in Chicago, and when it came time for me to pair up, I met Ryan, a blind Apple Store employee.

Ryan navigated us over to an unoccupied corner of the store, as you do during hectic events like this, and gave me the standard greeting and pitch. I let him know I’ve done this before which simplified a few things for both of us, and he got me set up with two phones (one for my wife) pretty quickly.

By that time, Apple had adopted the iPhone as an in-store checkout tool, and Ryan navigated his with ease. He asked for all the typical carrier account information to verify we had an account in good standing, and he used Apple’s VoiceOver tech to enter it all. On some screens he knew exactly where to press, and on others he could use gestures to make iOS read information out loud, then tap what he needed.

As someone who just wrote an article on this very topic, this story was really cool to read. That said, I’m beyond appalled at Samsung’s dick move regarding its lawsuit over VoiceOver. Fuck them, fuck them right in the eye (no pun intended).