May 20 is, among other things, “Global Accessibility Day”. Then Apple takes the opportunity to present a strengthened investment in accessibility, both in the form of aids in iOS, Mac OS and other operating systems, and services that will make the company itself more accessible.
Signtime calls Apple a new service that makes it easy for the deaf and hard of hearing to talk to Applecare support. From today, users in the US, UK and France can get support in sign language directly in the browser on iOS and Mac OS. The feature is also available for help shopping in Apple stores, and you do not need to book before visiting a store. Apple plans to roll out Signtime to additional countries in the future.
Assistive Touch for Apple Watch makes it possible to use the watch with just one hand, for example by tying your hand, pinching with your thumb and forefinger, or touching the entire hand to control a small pointer. This can benefit users who, for example, have had one hand amputated, or lost mobility after a stroke.
The iPad will also get a new way to control that already exists on the Mac: Eye Tracking. Later this year, it will be possible to connect an eye tracker and move a pointer on the screen just by looking where you want to point.
Other news include audiogram support along with headphone customization, a built-in noise feature to make it easier to focus, individual zoom and text size settings per app (in apps that add support for it) and new inclusive memoji variants with cochlear implants, oxygen tubes and a soft helmet.