For more than 20 years, Apple has provided new and innovative solutions for people with disabilities, allowing them access - and enjoy using - advanced technology products such as the Mac, iPod, iPhone and Apple TV.
Text To Speech
For students with cognitive disabilities, the Mac is equipped with Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology that can speak a selection of text or an entire document aloud. Mac TTS includes various male and female voices, including a new natural-sounding voice named Alex. Alex actually pauses to "breathe" when speaking long passages and sounds as good at high speed as he does at normal speaking rates.
VoiceOver is an advanced screen-reading technology that goes well beyond Text to Speech. Students can hear a spoken description of what's onscreen and are able to control their computer using only the keyboard (no mouse required).
Refreshable Braille Display Support
VoiceOver supports over 40 different models of refreshable braille displays, that once connected to the Mac, are automatically programmed to work - no need to fiddle around downloading drivers.
With a feature called Zoom, students can magnify the entire screen up to 40x by using the scroll wheel on a mouse, a Trackpad gesture or keyboard commands.
Every MacBook and iMac is equipped with a built-in iSight camera and iChat software.It's able to deliver fast frame rates and high-quality video so that students can communicate clearly using sign language.
With a Mac, displaying open and closed captioning in QuickTime and DVD Player is simple. Students can also download and watch captioned films and other iTunes content on iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Students who find it challenging to control a mouse can use Mouse Keys to move the mouse pointer using the keys on a numeric keypad. This can make it easier to navigate menus, windows, toolbars, colour palettes and more.
The Mac also comes with built-in handwriting recognition technology called Inkwell. Students simply connect a graphics tablet to their Mac and write on the tablet using a stylus. Inkwell translates what they've written into onscreen text.