Inspiring story of a blind engineer illustrates the inclusion framework within Apple

Inspiring story of a blind engineer illustrates the inclusion framework within Apple

Our century hasn't been so kind to us when it comes to motivation. So many hate words being disseminated over the internet that we are surprised when someone comes up with good and encouraging words.

I encourage everything. It is not as easy as you think to not care what they say, but if ever since a child a person hears that he is capable of doing anything, his confidence will not be so easily shaken even when haters of life appear. When the obstacle to be overcome affects the senses, it seems that there is already a “poor thing” discourse that is directly opposed to “you can do it”. And if there is something that was not lacking in the life of the engineer Jordyn Castor, was an incentive. His overcoming story was shared with the Mashable in a beautiful interview in order to bring us a little more motivation.

Jordyn Castor, blind engineer at Apple

Early in his life, Castor had to face the doctors who delivered him. According to them, she would not survive because she was born prematurely (15 weeks ahead of schedule), weighing less than a kilo, barely fit in her grandfather's hand. Your first victory!

Beaver has been blind since birth, but that was no reason for people to doubt his ability. On the contrary, her parents always encouraged her to face any difficulties. With technology, it couldn't be different: she used both the computer she had at home and the one at school. The adults around her always asked her to teach them like someone gadget it worked and she did it. When presented with her first iPad, at age 17, she said it was something she had never experienced before as it was accessible without requiring much effort. This is what she told Apple representatives when they went to a fair at the University of Michigan, where she was studying. Despite the fears, she applied for an internship at the company and guess what? I succeeded to enter. Today, at 22, Castor was hired and works as a full-time engineer helping to improve VoiceOver.

Apple's concern with accessibility is admirable as we have already commented here on and that goes from the software that the company makes to the employees it hires. Initiatives like VoiceOver are in constant need of improvement and feedbacks which ends up being a huge advantage to have workers like Castor, who develop and test everything on the spot. One of his great contributions is being with the new Swift Playgrounds app. She has been receiving several programming messages for blind children for a while and now she has finally been able to contribute to this in a combination of Playgrounds and VoiceOver.

I constantly received messages on Facebook from parents of blind children saying “My son really wants to learn programming. Do you know any way to do this? ” Now that Playgrounds has been launched, I can say "Sure, of course they can start programming."

Jordyn Castor talking about her experience while interning at a company in New York.

Apple's senior manager of global accessibility policies and initiatives, Sarah Herrlinger, made a point of remembering that a large part of what the company achieved in accessibility was by making inclusive features come standard.

These features come on your device regardless if you are someone who needs them. Because they come from the factory, all are free. Historically, people who are blind or have low vision have always had to buy additional accessories or do something else so that they can use the technology.

Herrlinger cites another incredible innovation from the company, the ability of blind people to know the time on the Apple Watch simply by vibrations not needing VoiceOver every time they just want to check the time quickly. Ma's efforts have been recognized several times. And it was again, on July 4th, when the company received the Robert S. Bray award from American Council of the Blind in recognition of a continuous dedication to innovation focused on inclusion of blind people.

The story reached the CEO of Apple, who shared it on the bird's social network.

Proud of our talented team for offering #accessibility to all users.

Castor's incredible interview ended with her saying that working with Playgrounds has been an empowering experience. And she left a message for those with special needs like her: “Blindness doesn't define you, a part of who you are as a person. as a feature, but it doesn't define who you are or what you can do in life. ” 💪

(via MacRumors)