Though Apple is known for the wide array of accessibility options in iOS, one individual has confirmed that the company's commitment to the principle extends far beyond the iPhone screen. On a trip to Apple Park's visitor center, Twitter user @xarph composed a thread of tweets detailing nine ways that Apple designed the location to cater to blind individuals who use canes, partially-sighted individuals, and those who use wheelchairs, saying "Basically, go to the Apple Park Visitor's Center if you want to see how to design a building for maximum disabled access when cost is no object."
@xarph began by describing the advantages of the motion-activated exterior doors that serve as the entrance to the center:
They also touched on the store's layout, describing how there's no annoying, possibly awkward alternate ways of browsing Apple's wares:
The accessibility isn't only limited to the store, however. @xarph also discusses rooftop railings with integrated lighting features to assist partially-sighted guests, as well as floor-mounted rails indoors so blind individuals who use canes don't accidentally "stray into low-overhead areas." Additionally, there are separate restrooms designed specifically for disabled guests, complete with low-mounted fixtures and wide stalls. Even the parking lot is well thought out:
However, Apple didn't get everything right. @xarph mentions that the water faucet in the center's coffee bar cannot be reached from a wheelchair:
If you're interested in checking out all the photos and tweets for yourself, you should absolutely take a look at @xarph's entire thread. If you struggle with reading threads on the native Twitter site, there's also an unrolled version posted on Thread Reader here.
For more information regarding Apple's commitment to accessibility, you can visit the company's dedicated accessibility page (opens in new tab).
Do you feel the tech companies you love value accessibility? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Tory Foulk is a writer at Mobile Nations. She lives at the intersection of technology and sorcery and enjoys radio, bees, and houses in small towns. When she isn't working on articles, you'll likely find her listening to her favorite podcasts in a carefully curated blanket nest. You can follow her on Twitter at @tsfoulk.
Well done to Apple and Foster & Partners for designing such an inclusive building. My only worry is that they've hidden the fire extinguishers behind discreet doors, which I can't foresee anyone noticing in an emergency situation.
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