Apple accessibility tech empowers youth with visual impairment to enjoy photography and gain independence

Apple products are for all; the company takes pride in its accessibility features which empower users with hearing and visual impairments to lead an independent and productive life like VoiceOver to describe what’s on the screen, Voice Control to give commands, Speak Selection eye-tracking support for iPadOS, and others.

A new article celebrates iPhone and iPad accessibility technology which is paving the way for the participants of The Chicago Lighthouse’s Photography for All program “gain independence, confidence, and creative skills.”

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Apple partners with Chicago Lighthouse for the “Photography for All” summer program for youth with low vision or legally blind individuals

In partnership with Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) and Apple, Chicago Lighthouse (a nonprofit organization) runs a 6-week summer program for youth with low vision or legally blind.

Using iPad Air, Apple Pencil, and Magic Keyboard, Photography for All participants are taught technical photography, coding, and career-readiness skills.

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Most importantly, the program equips the participants with tools to live their lives independently and confidently like the 18-year-old Opeifa who was diagnosed with a retinal disorder that causes progressive vision loss and light sensitivity, cone-rod dystrophy.

Opeifa has been using Apple technology since she was in kindergarten when her parents purchased the first-generation iPad to help her read her schoolwork digitally. She laughs at a memory of herself running around her family’s home in Nigeria a few years later with an iPad mini, excited to add to her collection of Apple devices.

Having spent much of her life using Apple technology, she is comfortable using her iPhone to get a better view of the world, and she’s also learning how to edit her photographs on iPad. Whether she’s navigating from one corner of the city to the next, or capturing flowers, the city skyline, and any other snapshots of urban life around her that pique her interest, Opeifa is hooked on visual storytelling.

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Trained by Apple’s experts, participants learn to how to use camera and photography settings and accessibility features like VoiceOver, Zoom, and Image Description in the camera app. Participants then capture photos on their iPhones and use the iPad’s larger screen real estate to edit and share their creative projects.

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The program has given her the confidence to Opeifa to start a career in film and television because she loves to tell stories like other participants of the program.

Lance Gladney, who is passionate about pursuing a career in art, hopes to produce his own anime franchise. Gladney joined the program to experiment with a new form of visual art.

John Johnson — participating in the program for a second year — is interested in electrical engineering or game design.

And Alaula “Aihua” Sprecher is considering colleges where she can study computer science, physics, and astronomy.

It is very refreshing and reassuring to see the development of tech for All. People with special needs excel in their fields with the right tools and guidance, and Apple is one of the companies to provide them with that.

About the Author

Addicted to social media and in love with iPhone, started blogging as a hobby. And now it's my passion for every day is a new learning experience. Hopefully, manufacturers will continue to use innovative solutions and we will keep on letting you know about them.

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