With my eyes at WWDC21

With my eyes at WWDC21

My world as a deaf person at Apple WorldWide Developer Convention

Paul Sweeney's photo
Paul Sweeney

Published on Jun 19, 2021

2 min read

Three big tech companies in America: Google, Microsoft, and Apple. They are in our lives and it’s impossible to stay away from their products. Google’s popular with its own search engine that billions of us use in our daily lives. Microsoft is impossible to miss with their Windows Operating System all over the world. Apple is one of the richest companies that have a market cap of about 2 trillion dollars and we all probably touched one of their products such as the iPhone, iPod, Macintosh computers, and Apple Watch.

They all three have valued accessibility and inclusion. I saw at Google I/O when they live-streamed American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. I have experienced the amazing Microsoft #MSBuild event with ASL interpreters on most of their videos. Apple has built so many great things on accessibility with their iPhone, iPad, and Macs. But, Apple did not think of including ASL interpreters for the most part of their Worldwide Developer Convention (WWDC) week.

Wait? Apple?

Yes, they did have ASL interpreters after their Opening Keynote Presentation with Tim Cook and many others. It was not live-streamed but posted later after the event. WWDC is a big week-long event for all app developers all over the world. There are so many awesome sessions during the week but none of them included ASL interpreters. Of course, I was deeply disappointed and this is why I have to write about this. 
 I took it to Twitter to rant about Apple and I emailed Tim Cook directly. Someone at Apple read the email and called me directly but I didn’t answer the phone. I got the email and I emailed back for the arrangement for a phone conversation on Wednesday during the WWDC week. I felt that Apple’s taking it seriously about the ASL interpreters situation so I decided to write a thread on Twitter with some good points.


 After the week is over, I decided to do 8 minutes video which is available in subtitles on YouTube


 I clipped one of the good parts of the video to put it on Twitter and TikTok in their format, which means short video to attract people’s attention. Nobody wants to watch 8 minutes video nowadays. 



 Let me wrap up here, you can check out the thread and the videos to get the full picture here. In my next blog post, I will write about subtitles on video vs. American Sign Language interpreter and why it is important to the deaf community.

Thank you for reading and you can find me on Twitter: vphreak

 
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