Apple has always talked about its commitment to making its products and features accessible to all. Now one of the members of Apple’s accessibility design and quality team is telling just how committed the company is. Apple engineer Jordyn Castor has been blind since birth. Doctors said she had a slim chance of survival, but she did not let that hold her back.
Bringing personal perspective to improve accessibility
Castor was born 15 weeks early and weighed just under two pounds. Her grandfather could even slide his wedding ring along her arm and over her shoulder, but Castor has never let anything hold her back. She attended Michigan State University, and after speaking to representatives at a job fair, she was given an internship at the Cupertino-based giant.
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Castor’s skills as an advocate for tech accessibility and engineer were too important to let go after her internship came to a close. Hence, she was hired full-time as an engineer on Apple’s accessibility design and quality team. Castor describes the group of people she works with as dedicated and passionate.
Castor told Apple’s representatives how amazed she was by the iPad she had received just a few days earlier as a gift for her 17th birthday. She told them that the iPad raised her passion for technology to a different but higher level, mostly because of its immediate accessibility.
Castor told Mashable in an interview, “Everything just worked and was accessible just right out of the box. That was something I had never experienced before.”
Castor said it is incredible to be impacting the lives of the blind community directly. She played an important role in making Apple’s Swift Playgrounds app accessibility friendly.
Apple praised for its accessibility efforts
It has always been essential to the tech giant that accessibility features are built in and free, Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s senior manager for global accessibility, told Mashable. Herrlinger told the website that these features show up regardless of whether a user needs them or not.
“By being built-in, they are also free. Historically, for the blind and visually impaired community, there are additional things you have to buy or things that you have to do to be able to use technology,” the executive said.
She explained that it is important to have a dedicated team working on the accessibility features because accessibility is never-ending. In the past, the Cupertino-based company has been applauded for its accessibility efforts. Two years ago, the National Federation of the Blind said the iPhone maker had done more for accessibility than any other company.