The Federal Communications Commission has announced the 2021 winners of the FCC Chair’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (FCC Chair’s AAA). Apple won an awarder iOS 14.
The awards, which began in 2011, recognize individuals, products, services, standards and other innovative developments that improve the experience of people with disabilities in telecommunications and technology. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel says that, this year, the FCC’s Chair’s AAA honors innovative practices, technologies, and organizations that have creatively leveraged communications and broadband technology during the pandemic, to break down accessibility barriers so that everyone is able to participate equally in our connected world.
The FCC says that Apple released a suite of accessibility features and upgrades to its mobile operation system iOS 14 that have particular importance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. To wit:
° People Detection: A feature added to Apple’s Magnifier app that detects nearby individuals and helps the user maintain physical distance per CDC guidance.
° Sign Language Prominence: Detects a participant in a Group FaceTime call using sign language and automatically makes that video more prominent to aid in intelligibility.
° Sound Recognition: Enables the Apple device to “listen” for specific sounds and alert the user when the selected sounds are heard.
° VoiceOver Recognition: Upgrades the native screen reader functionality to detect and provide substantive description for elements in websites and apps.