Today, Apple has released a new SignTime service for users with hearing and speaking disabilities. The new service connects customers with sign language interpreters at Apple Stores and Apple Support.
The newly launched SignTime is part of Apple’s new accessibility updates coming out later this year for “people with mobility, vision, hearing, and cognitive disabilities.” New updates include AssistiveTouch to use Apple Watch with hand gestures, support for eye-tracking on iPad, new features for VoiceOver, and much more. The company says that “these next-generation technologies showcase Apple’s belief that accessibility is a human right and advance the company’s long history of delivering industry-leading features that make Apple products customizable for all users.”
Apple launches SignTime to provide Applecare to customers with hearing impairment
Using sign language, customers will be able to communicate with AppleCare and Retail Customer Care, online and at physical stores. As per the announcement:
This enables customers to communicate with AppleCare and Retail Customer Care by using American Sign Language (ASL) in the US, British Sign Language (BSL) in the UK, or French Sign Language (LSF) in France, right in their web browsers.
Customers visiting Apple Store locations can also use SignTime to remotely access a sign language interpreter without booking ahead of time. SignTime will initially launch in the US, UK, and France, with plans to expand to additional countries in the future.
Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s senior director of Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives said that:
“At Apple, we’ve long felt that the world’s best technology should respond to everyone’s needs, and our teams work relentlessly to build accessibility into everything we make. With these new features, we’re pushing the boundaries of innovation with next-generation technologies that bring the fun and function of Apple technology to even more people — and we can’t wait to share them with our users.”
Accessibility is an integral part of Apple’s ecosystem. The company takes pride in making its devices and platform inclusive with features like VoiceOver, Screen recognition, and others to make huge difference in people’s lives.