Confirming earlier rumors, the Apple Online Store has begun selling accessibility-related accessories and peripherals via a dedicated Accessibility section, as first discovered by Amusement. At the time of this writing, the store listed about fifteen accessories separated into sub-categories such as Vision, Physical & Motor Skills and Learning & Literacy products, with more to be added at a later stage.
The iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac accessories listed on the Accessibility section were designed to help people with various disabilities operate their devices, learn, play, create music and more.
Some of the more interesting products include the AbleNet Blue2 Bluetooth Switch for helping people with impaired motor skills operate functions of their iOS devices, the Skoogmusic Skoog 2.0, which is a 5-sided tactile tube for learning, playing or creating music, the HumanWare Brand BI 32 Braille Display for helping blind or partially sighted people navigate the entirety of the iOS and OS X user interfaces (it serves as a screen reader as well) and many others.
Shoppers can further narrow down the listings by filtering the products by device compatibility, disability category or both. This new section is part of Apple’s ongoing focus on making its products and services as much accessibility-friendly as possible.
For instance, the App Store highlighted apps for Global Accessibility Awareness Day and celebrated the anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act. Efforts like these have helped the Cupertino firm gain recognition from The American Foundation for the Blind, which gave it a Helen Keller Achievement Award for the Voice Over feature.
In addition to Voice Over, Accessibility technologies built into iOS and OS X include things like Guided Access, high-contrast interfaces, full-screen zooming and more.