AppleVis Extra 67: a Conversation with Sarah Herrlinger and Dean Hudson of Apple's Accessibility Team

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In this edition of the AppleVis Extra, Dave Nason and Thomas Domville are joined by Sarah Herrlinger, Director of Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives at Apple; and Dean Hudson, Accessibility Evangelist at Apple. Topics covered in this podcast include an in-depth look at new accessibility features coming later this year in Apple software for blind and low vision users, as well as a broader look at Apple's approach to making their products accessible to as many people as possible.

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5 Comments

#1 apple accessibility

Well this podcast was better regarding asking question about accessibility. If thins workout in September iOS 13 for the blind individuals will be Lucky iOS 13. Looking to see all the nice features that will come out this year for us. Thomas seriesly "Eloquence" I would had ask about more voices that will be similar to siri in quality instead of using vocalize. It may be the year for accessibility with iOS 13. Nice.Long live the apple.

#2 Nice Job

Thanks for this excellent episode, and thank you Sarah and Dean for talking about some of the great things we can look forward to with these major updates. I was talking with a sister on the phone this morning, who is a VoiceOver user and like me has manual-dexterity issues. I briefly mentioned the voice control thing to her, and our conversation reminded me that she really needs to come over to AppleVis. So thanks once again for all the great work you and Apple do. It is very much appreciated.

#3 Great to hear from Apple

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

It’s always great to hear people from Apple engaging with our community on Applevis, and while I’d love to have more direct engagement from them, I appreciate it when it happens.

Based on this podcast, there’s a lot that I’m looking forward to in iOS 13/iPad OS. Greater customisation of reading punctuation is something I’ve been wanting for a long time, and custom VoiceOver gestures and keyboard shortcuts will be great too. I take it that if you can assign Siri shortcuts to VoiceOver gestures, and VoiceOver gestures to keyboard commands, you’ll be able to assign a Siri shortcut to a keyboard command by first assigning it to a VoiceOver gesture, and then assigning that gesture to a keyboard command? If so, I’m going to be using Siri shortcuts a lot more after this release. I haven’t been using it much, because I haven’t found many ways in which it can make tasks quicker or easier, but if I can assign keyboard commands that will all change.

#4 Novelty voices

Hi! someone asked about using the novelty voices on iOS in another post. I would like to say that you have oh ready been able to do that in iOS 12/11 I believe. Just go to the “speech” settings in Voiceover to download the extra voices. Also would really be awesome if Apple would just stop being so this way or no way with Voiceover… and Allow scripting for others to do to make Apps more accessible or just enhance Voiceover itself: like NVDA addons. I’m happy about the 80+ Braille tables that will be added however. Great job all the same.

#5 great job on accessibility!

I would like to say great job on accessibility! Apple is really doing it seriously this time, compared to last year. Yes, the part with voice control and VoiceOver playing together will indeed work in due time. that's one feature I'm looking forward to testing once released. and custom gestures are an added feature as well, although I'm fine with using the standard gestures.
Also, having the accessibility option up front is a big plus! previously I had to go deep into general to find it, but now with this change it'll be a lot more easier. Great job apple's accessibility team!
All in all, great podcast!