This is the third post in our annual 12-part series covering the accessibility features we would like to see Apple bring to its products in the coming year.
This series is being put together by Accessibility Editor Alex Jurgensen, with the help of several contributors.
For the third request of Christmas, we ask Apple to give to us:
3. A Free USB Type C to USB Type A Dongle
When the 2016 MacBook Pro was announced, Apple World Today reader J.P. Shandra sent us a letter outlining reasons why Apple's new machines were too expensive for many users with disabilities. This has made it harder for users who depend on Apple's accessibility features to perform daily tasks to obtain the modern hardware they need. To add insult to injury, the 2016 MacBook and MacBook Pro models include no USB Type A connections, the standard used by many assistive technology accessories. This means users wishing to use an already expensive machine with overpriced assistive technology accessories have to fork out an extra amount for a USB Type C to USB Type A dongle from companies like Moshi or Apple itself -- no dongles are included in the box. In contrast, when Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, it included a Lightning to headphone jack adapter free of charge in the box.
While the price of a dongle may seem like an insignificant amount to pay in comparison to the price of a MacBook or piece of assistive technology, it is still an additional expense for a community that has to watch every penny. We therefore ask Apple to consider including a free dongle in the box with every new MacBook or MacBook Pro. Such a move would help create a smoother transition to USB Type C for everyone, including those with disabilities.
The previous posts:
The Christmas season is upon us and the spirit of giving is in the air. Writing articles for the Accessible Apple column takes time and energy. If you enjoy Accessible Apple articles and would like to see them continue into 2017, please consider making a donation to Camp Bowen, a summer camp for the visually impaired and blind that promotes independent living, education, and the fostering of creativity. A few dollars can go a long way towards ensuring this valuable program can continue to serve generations to come.