Detecting Accessibility Events: Apple Wants Websites to Know I’m a Screen Reader User, but How About Asking Me First

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

A new feature for VoiceOver users called "Accessibility Events" was introduced in iOS 12.2 and macOS 10.14.4 without any announcement or documentation. I cannot find any info about this feature on Apple's website. Even the installed Help files say nothing about it, so far. The only information given is a short description label in the Mac Preferences and IOS settings, shown below. To the best of my knowledge, which is quite limited at this time, leaving it turned on allows webmasters and anyone else who cares to know to discover if you have VoiceOver running.

"Accessibility Events allow websites to customize their behavior for assistive technologies, like VoiceOver. Enabling Accessibility Events may reveal whether an assistive technology is active..."

My own Opinion

Detecting Accessibility Events has been a hot topic of late, with many siding on one approach or the other. Most that see it as a benefit seem to be web developers. Most who think of it as a negative, seem to be the very people that it affects, the blind and visually impaired. After reading through many blog and forum sites, I can not decide how to feel about the situation. It seems that there are benefits and drawbacks to both sides. One aspect of it gives me apprehension, the unknown, unrequested gathering of information about me or my computer and devices, with the expectation that it will always be used for positive purposes. Browser cookies were meant to be this way also, yet in the past many spyware, malware and virus infections were spread through the digital world using cookies. Almost every new boon to the digital world has also been used for nefarious purposes by unscrupulous persons. Add to that the rampant hacking of businesses, agencies and their websites and databases and it can give me cause to pause. Even someone using my information for legitimate reasons can lose hold of that info. Do I now have to be concerned about Identity Theft as well? I believe my own choice would be for the web to have as little information about me and my devices as possible. The info about my digital life that is released to the world should be my choice. I am glad that apple gave me a choice by supplying a setting, but not happy that they made a decision for me with turning it on by default. Now that I consider it, I think I am siding with not being involved with the whole Accessibility Events thing.

Additionally, wouldn't this scenario depend on all web developers to be honest and trustworthy in their endeavors? Does this include anyone who can make a website or create individual web pages? Does this 'giving away of my info' include those scammers sitting in their living rooms in their pajamas? Perhaps I am being a bit extreme here, but let's face it, not everyone who can make websites are honest or trustworthy. Nor can every website creator be depended on to safeguard the information they gather about their site visitors. Can someone now not only find my locale through my router's IP address, which type of system I am logged on with, my screen resolution, but also the fact that I use a screen reader meaning that I am blind? Extreme or not, I have a junk mail box full of proof.

I can not imagine that Apple would place something like this on every Apple device that I own without a purpose. Perhaps they have future plans for it of which I am not aware. Maybe they are going to grow it into place to allow for additional features in the future. This is often the case with Apple's development paths. Mix that with the current efforts by them to better address the needs of their "pro" communities and the idea seems likely. Somehow I still end up feeling like someone at Apple really dropped the ball on this one. How could they possibly believe that gathering info that reveals one's disability without consent, in a somewhat hidden fashion could be a good idea? This should have been turned off by default. My disability is not a matter of statistics. It is a major force in my life, something that drives much of my motivations. It is so personal to me that this 'unwanted revealing' situation feels like an intrusion. Should I also wear a sign around my neck when I go out in public that says "Blind guy, please decide things for me!"?

Another point, why does this setting only apply to VO? They refer to it as "Accessibility Events" when it actually only applies to the use of VoiceOver. The setting itself only exists in the VoiceOver areas of accessibility. Why didn't they refer to it as "VoiceOver Events?" Is it because they felt like it would single out only the blind community? If so, maybe they should pay a bit more attention to those feelings, because it 'does' single out the blind and visually impaired communities in its implementation. It does not apply to all of the other wonderful accessibility features on my Apple devices. It seems like it should be put into the main accessibility settings. Yet, on all of the various Apple devices, it can only be found in the VoiceOver settings.

Accessing the Accessibility Events Feature

Apparently, even Apple knew that it was going to cause a stir in the blind and visually impaired communities. Otherwise, why would they give us an option to turn it off? It even comes with a warning label, as seen above. The feature itself is not buried deeply. It is in plain view, one of the first options available on the preference panel where it exists. Apple rarely does anything 'off the cuff' or without some plan in mind. So now I am back to thinking that there are future developments that await, other possible features or apps that will be making use of the same access that is being allowed by this Events thing. Regardless, I will turn it off for now on my Mac and all devices. Here's how.

On Mac:

Open the VoiceOver Utility by pressing Control-Option-f8. Include the fn key on a laptop. Then in the Utility Categories table, make sure the Web category is selected. Then on the General tab, find the Accessibility Events and check or uncheck the checkbox.

In iOS:

From the Home Screen, open Settings, then navigate down and activate Accessibility and open VoiceOver. Near the bottom activate the Web button and in the resulting screen, turn on or off the Accessibility Events.

Other Opinions on the Web

I am not the only blind person who has issues with the way this Events thing was implemented. Much of the blind and visually impaired communities find it to be intrusive. The following links contain just a small sampling.

Apple’s new feature a step towards digital apartheid
by Hampus Sethfors

Why screen reader detection on the web is a bad thing
by Marco

Thoughts on screen reader detection
by Leonie Watson

In Conclusion

Even with all of the opinions expressed above, including my own, I have a feeling of certainty that Apple will address this situation sooner rather than later. Going by over thirty years of experience with Apple products, they have a habit of addressing situations and glitches rather rapidly, for the most part. While I do not appreciate how this one occurred, I am going with the 'wait and see' approach. I am comfortable taking this viewpoint not only because I have faith that Apple will address it soon, but also because they gave me a way to turn it off. They could have easily hid it under the hood and I would never have known. Instead, Apple gave me a choice, a checkbox and a warning label. I still believe that something additional is coming in the future that will use this same functionality. A whole new interface of sorts? Better voice control? Eye tracking to interact? More SIRI integration in the accessibility features? Who knows? Apple is not normally one to hang something like this out there without some future plans for expansion. After all, this is where VoiceOver came from to begin with, right? So I will wait, though somewhat vigilant, for whatever is coming down the pipes. It will end up being some form of benefit to my life, as they usually are. Unfortunately, in this particular situation it should have been presented in an "opt-in" manner, not an "opt-out" one. However, sometimes it is a struggle to remember...

All of our cool digital stuff that we work with, play with and enjoy, is all about "Living." Live well!

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24 Comments

#1 Turning mine off

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Web developers who design web pages with accessibility in mind from the start shouldn't need any additional information about the client system's capabilities.

#2 Nicholas,

Nicholas,

Nice post.

I can not forgive Apple for its fault.

If the thing really, really really really really really needed to be implemented because of some aspects we are not aware of or for whatever reazon this should be implemented in such a way that sites asking for this info should exibit a allow prompt, just the way they do for notifications and location information.

This way:
1- The user would know if a given website is interested on that info.
2- The user could or not allow specific sites to have that info.

Simple enough. Way better than giving me a all or nothing choice deeply hiddden somewhere (more than half of blinds which are non IT people never ever or rarely visit the voiceover control center) activated by default option.
More, and sorry for the term, stupid than turning the thing on by default is not letting me know who is requesting that information and when it is being requested.

I am extremely, extremely frustrated and afraid ... if Apple is doing this kinds of things I wounder what elsse they will do next months or years.

It seems that it is all for us without us ... oh well. Let's hope other companies, such as Microsoft and Google, don't follow this bad practice.

#3 Paul,

Paul,

I don't know if you are or have been a developper. Although in theory what you say is true, some times some aspects of website development would be achieved faster, and consequently cheaper, if we could know if screen readers are turned on.
Although I heartly desagree with a non universal design and with accessibility being after thought, reallity shows us that a workiing service is better than a non working service and that, from the point of view of developpers whho many times have to deal with extremely hard, if not virtually impossible task of fixing accessibility on sites which are already structured in a very bad way, things could go easily or become viable in some situations by using that information. So just take in acount that development is something that in practice can be harder than it is in theory. Does that mean that I agree with what Apple has done? No. Does it mean that I agree with opening my personal info on behauf of a faster, easier development of accessibility features in websites? Definitely not. But I at the same time do understand web developpers whenn they claim for that kind of feature.

#4 What are "You", trying to hide?

Let's call a spade a spade here. Most web developers don't even know what the hell a screen reader is, let alone know anything about programming websites for any disability let alone blindness or low vision. We weren't told about this before the release of IOS12. As far as I'm aware and please enlighten me, what exactly are we submitting, when the checkbox is checked? To my understanding, it simply tells a site admin, hey this person is using a screen reader. No identifying information besides things that the user already has either agreed or chosen not to invoke, is being displayed. We know that web developers simply create a site that looks great, puts it through some automated testings to ensure w3c compatibility to the minimum standards, then clicks publish. They have absolutely no idea what to do or how to help those of us who come to their site and are unable to use it because poorly labeled text fields, buttons, list boxes or other controls needed to navigate successfully. Like much of the other privacy controls we know about, this one is simply the choice of the user of the device. As for the person who requested the user be given prompts to either allow or not the right to use this accessibility events, I wouldn't agree with that. It's my own view of course. I personally get tired of every time, the alert showing up and i have to stop what I'm doing to click "Ok". If this runs runs in the background, we might just get some sites that realize they need to ramp up their page layouts or other content. The truth is we don't know what apple was thinking when they put this checkbox on our devices. we can choose to do what we want. I say just because this came out, now we have a ton of people saying they aren't fans. That's fine. Yet maybe, just maybe, apple is letting us be proactive and saying to a site developer, think of us.

#5 If you'll pardon the pun ...

Club AppleVis Member

I am taking a "wait and see" approach. Like Nicholas, I think that Apple has something else in mind with this feature. My only complaint with it is how buried down it is and how most people would never find it without specifically seeking it. The best thing to do would have been to have one's Apple device sense when Voiceover was turned on, and immediately after upgrading to iOS 12.2, offer a prompt with the option to either turn it off or leave it on with a detailed description of what its purpose was. I think that could have eleviated quite a bit of contention.

#6 accessibility

You know when I was sighted I did not even think about blind people and their problems. Now yes apple needed to mention that but apple tend to be behind letting people know about things they do such as the issues with the battery several years ago, the issue with facetime recently. For those who said that web developers need to know about accessibility for the blind, yes in a perfect world. Maybe in the apple TV show about blind people they will have a computer or iPhone that is %100 accessible.

#7 It‘s not the first time they do that I think

Club AppleVis Member

I think the Screen Reader Preference thing is not the first of its kind. Since a few versions back, IOS also communicates if a user prefers Reducede Motions on a website.
I‘m not sure if it‘s being done in the same way though. The reduced motion thing seems to enable website designers to include special CSS code to present an adapted version of their content to users who don‘t want excessive animations. I‘m not much of a CSS pro. But here‘s an explanation and example on how this is done: https://css-tricks.com/introduction-reduced-motion-media-query/

Has anyone seen an example or an explanation on how exactly the Screen Reader presence is communicated to a web server? Is it another CSS Query?
I do tend to agree with those saying that I don‘t wish websites to automatically track wether or not I‘m using assistive technology. I‘ve seen too many instances where a well-meaning web designer drafted a +Screen Reader Version“ of a website which turned out to be worse and / or function-limited compared to the „normal“ one.

#8 RE Turning mine off

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello Paul,
I agree. Mine is now off on all devices as well.
Best.

#9 RE splyt

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello splyt,
Thanks for your input. It seems like Apple is responding to dev needs, possibly at our expense. I agree with you on this, it should have been implemented on a per-site basis with an option to turn off or on for all if desired.
I guess what sticks in my craw is the fact of it being implemented without warning and already turned on. I am sure they didn't think of it this way, but it comes across feeling kind of sneaky. Keep in mind though, no personal identifying info is being shared as far as I know. Still, it reminds me of the junk mail we used to get stating how we were already signed up for something. Then it would say something like, not to worry, you can opt-out any time you like. Then I would waste my time sending cancellation letters back to all these companies cancelling the thing they signed me up for without my knowledge or consent. All too often, the first month of whatever it was, is free. Credit cards used to be bad about this. Maybe this feature just brought up old memories.
Thanks again for your input!
Best wishes.

#10 Another Thought on This

Hello. I have another thought on this. What if this feature is going to provide audio descriptions and/or closed captioning during Apple's keynote events going forward? That would be nice indeed. But I guess only time will tell. Btw, I asked my sighted neighbor across the hall for his thoughts on this last night. He and I agree that it could indeed be a good thing. Furthermore, he pointed out that people who don't check this box might miss out on important information such as updates to VoiceOver itself. I realize VO is baked right in along with all other accessibility features, but I think he's got a good point.

#11 RE Siobhan

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello Siobhan,

Thank you for the great input. While I agree with the intent of your message that we shouldn't have anything to hide, in this particular matter I disagree that Apple was 'letting' us tell webmasters something. To me, and this may be my own opinion, because it was already turned on by default it felt more like I was being 'forced' to tell them something. Plus it was something that is a personal part of my life. It should have been my choice to opt-in on this feature. I used my Mac for several weeks with this option already turned on without ever knowing. Discrimination against the blind can happen in the background and I would never know. This could be a simple as my info being decided upon by some arbitrary person who knows nothing about blindness, who puts my info into pile B instead of pile A because their computer spit out that I am using a screen reader. Now I don't get a chance at that scholarship/loan/insurance/mortgage.
I agree that we shouldn't 'have' to hide anything about our blindness, but unfortunately the common thread of current society quite often discriminates against the blind and visually impaired. The web is full of similar stories. Discrimination happens all too often, usually for no reason. Sometimes it happens completely in the background and we never even know. In a perfect world I agree that we should have nothing to hide, but added to all the other ways of tracking me down and discovering who I am and now the fact that I am blind can be added to my info without me ever knowing is just one more tool for discrimination to occur. Maybe I am being a little paranoid, but the life insurance companies I was repeatedly denied from certainly did not think this way. I realize that my personal info is not being submitted through this feature, but my router's IP address is through the only tower in the area. So is the OS that I am using. In my small community that would be enough to identify me. Now I have the fact that I am blind being added to the equation. How many opportunities did I miss out on simply because I am blind? I may never know.

I know nothing about you or where you live or what your situation is, but going from my own experience I have been discriminated against due to my blindness several times now in very important matters. Back to the original topic, spreading the fact of my blindness around for no real reason, especially if it happens automatically with every website, is not a good thing. It can lead to background discrimination by people who know nothing about blindness. It can be as simple as putting my info into pile B instead of pile A. Do I want my computer doing this for me in the background the whole time I am using it on the web? Not so much.

For me the Accessibility Events setting will remain off, at least for now. I will say again that I know nothing about your own situation or experience. You sound like a well informed, knowledgeable person. Thank you for the positive comment. Its good to have info from both viewpoints. I appreciate your positive approach.
Best wishes.

#12 RE sockhopsinger

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello sockhopsinger,

Agreed. A single dialog the first time it sensed that VO was running would have solved this entire issue.
Best regards.

#13 RE Holger Fiallo

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello Holger Fiallo,

"You know when I was sighted I did not even think about blind people and their problems."

Same here. This is exactly the issue. How many of life's decisions are made for us in the background by people who know nothing about blindness? In many situations, do I want these people making important life decisions for me based on the fact that I use a screen reader? The idea that they may not know what a screen reader is, is not reassuring. How can they be trusted with info when they have no concept of what it even is? Their ignorance of the situation should not be a deciding factor of whether my wife or daughter will have enough money to bury me at my demise. Yet, I was repeatedly denied for life insurance because I was expected to be legally blind. It was my parents who actually had to deal with this situation when I was still young. Once I was finally accepted by a company, I have kept this insurance plan going my entire adult life due to my parents struggles at that time. The denials happened because I was considered a "high risk" due to my expected future blindness. I hadn't even reached the point of "legally blind" yet, but they knew that I would someday.
Thank you for the comment. It helps to illustrate the scope of the issue.
Best wishes.

#14 Ugh!

This is once again Apple saying "We know what's best for our users, so we're just going to do it and if you don't like it, fuck off!" However, unlike everything else they do, there was no privacy policy or warning about this. It just shows up unannounced and undocumented, with the assumption that everyone wants it? Why doesn't the privacy obsessed Apple provide a prompt right after upgrading to iOS 12.2 and macOS 10.14.4? I also don't appreciate that it was hidden in plain sight. Most users wouldn't think to look for it. I know I certainly wouldn't, as I've come to expect Apple to add new features with major releases.

What especially pisses me off is the fact that they chose to include this feature in all their products with a minor release instead of oh, I don't know, fixing the dozens of longstanding bugs in macOS and iOS that people have been reporting for years? I've just about had it with Apple! They claim their so committed to privacy, yet they pull shit like this and adopt their arrogant "We're going to do this whether you like it or not" attitude.

This feature is not a good idea. It sounds like it on the surface, but it leaves too much assumption up to developers. They may choose to ignore it altogether, or create an entirely different app or website for people using screen readers. This reminds me of the screen reader scripts bullshit. If people would follow guidelines, we wouldn't need special scripts or features that report the user is using assistive technologies. I thought Apple was different. They've always promoted using accessibility guidelines and best practices. This move seems like a step backwards.

#15 RE René Jaun

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello René Jaun,

I think that this feature only relates that a screen reader is being used. With the reduced motion thing, I think many various people would use this because of several reasons. One of which could be as simple as limited bandwidth. Before I had high speed internet, I would often use this reduce motion feature, along with disabling images from the Develop menu in Safari. It did not reveal anything about my disability, only the fact of my limited bandwidth. For me, revealing to 'whoever' that I am blind could limit opportunities in the future because of what was stated earlier, unknown discrimination that could/does happen.
Best regards.

#16 RE Ekaj

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello Ekaj,

Thank you for your input. It's always good to hear your viewpoints. I believe that VO, if needed, is updated with the standard OS updates not separately. It is an integrated part of the OS. I am hopeful like you, that it means future good stuff is awaiting us. I think my real gripe with this Events thing was that it removed my choice about revealing my screen reader use to any/all webmasters. I was a webmaster myself and created many sites for clients over a ten year period. I did not have to take any classes, pass any qualifications test, observe any rules or standards, or otherwise prove my worthiness in any way except to my clients. If I could do it all on my own just by going through some learning curve, anyone could. Maybe that's the part that scares me a bit, anyone could. With a limited investment and some learning, anyone could now get a hold of the fact that a particular Mac running latest OS with a standard screen resolution, using this IP address from this tower, is blind. It would not be easy to do, they would have to have knowledge of using several apps that are made for tracking web statistics, but these apps 'do' exist, I have used them myself to discover where web traffic was coming from and which systems were being used. I would offer this info as a service to my clients. It would never reveal exact locations or login names or such, but the types of systems, OSs, screen resolutions, color bit depth, type of modem and their general locale/tower connection were revealed. I could even track which pages were being viewed, how long they spent on the site, and which links they clicked. With this Events item turned on webmasters, any of them, can now also tell that I am blind. While I can see a legitimate use for this info, I can also see many illegitimate uses as well. If nothing more than two hundred 'heal my blindness' spam mails showing up in my junk mail box, is enough for me to turn it off. Of note, I am 'not' fleeing the Apple ecosystem by any means. I guess this 'slip up' just rubbed me the wrong way because it is so out of character for Apple
Thanks as always for your input.
Best wishes.

#17 RE Chris Wright

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello Chris Wright,

I agree with the sentiment of your message. I am rather PO-ed about it myself. It seems very out of character for Apple. Who knows what they were thinking on this. I am chalking it up to the high-class bubble that can sometimes form in very successful companies. It has happened with Windows before as well. Maybe someone making accessibility decisions at Apple needs to get out a bit more often and mingle with the 'boots on the ground' user base. I'm only guessing at this. Regardless, any setting that reveals any personal info about a users system should be off by default. Perhaps some heads are already rolling at Apple. Bowling anyone? :-)
That being said, I am not jumping ship or anything. I've gone through several 'oops' scenarios with Apple before. Yet, for the longest time Windows was much worse. So much so that I had to give up fixing Win systems as a business. There were more clients than I could keep up with, but my stress levels were causing me issues. Through several years of this, I used my Mac to help me research, download software for, and fix Win systems. During this time I never once had to fix a Mac.
Things have changed since then, both systems seem to be reaching a middle ground and becoming more similar. Are they on equal footing yet? Probably not. I still like the Mac best. Its versatility, adaptability, ease of use and now the 'normally' more secure ecosystem of devices, plus the totally customizable free screen reader mixed with all the other apps developed by Apple will always stay as my main system. Am I a fan boy? Probably. I've also used Win systems from DOS through Win 3.1, all the way through Win 7. Then I had to give up the business and the Win side of things because of life changes. For myself, I'll ride this out and see where it goes. Am I happy with this latest little stumble? Definitely not! However, for the next several updates I will be scouring my preferences and the VO settings to see what else comes along.
Thanks for your input. I can certainly see why this type of thing might piss someone off. Myself included! I'm also noticing more bugs and glitchs than normal, all since the last Mac 10.14.4 update. VO freezing up temporarily and such. Maybe Apple had a employee turn-over or somethingh.
Best regards.

#18 Screen Reader

Do not worry all. They probably will not even know what is a screen reader unless they google it. Apple probably put it there to make those who complain about accessibility happy. Remember if you do not care for anything apple get another product.

#19 RE Siobhan

I agree with the response in this post. While I appreciate that, perhaps Apple was trying to notify web masters about screen readers and how best to implement their web sites, Along with others who havbe already said this, I believe that this feature should have been introduced right up front, during the set up phase of iOS 12.2 and simply given the individual user the choice whether or not to have it turned on. It does feel sneaky to me that the community wasn't advised about the new feature and that it was simply on by default. I am so appreciative of the first individual who started this post and let everyone know about it. I certainly hadn't seen anything about it until this website. I have also notified my own iPhone user friends about this, as well. I'm not going to jump the Apple ship, in hopes of finding something greener on the Android side, because I personally don't think that would happen, but it certainly has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Unfortunately, the tracking of personal info, whether it's the fact that I'm blind, how much time I spend looking at Kindle books, or whatever, is already happening by Google and other search engines, has been and will continue, because it's the age we live in. Do I agree with the big brother effect? Absolutely not. All I can say is to be mindful of what we do and use simple common sense with our electronic lives.

#20 Not a fan

I'm definitely not a fan. This is a fairly big privacy violation in my opinion, as browser fingerprinting is already such a big issue in these times.

#21 RE Holger Fiallo

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello Holger Fiallo,

Thank you for your input. While I understand the points you make, from my own experience, this is more of a gray matter rather than a black and white issue. Please excuse me for hi-jacking your comment for a bit while I get on my soapbox again. :-)

Do webmasters need to find out more info about blind and visually impaired users? Definitely. I guess to me, this all-or-nothing solution from Apple seems more limiting than helpful. It seems like a 'tell everyone all the time' or 'do not ever tell anyone' fix. A comparison might be like having one's car at full throttle all the time, or not on at all. How safe would this be to drive around?

Plus telling webmasters that someone is using something called 'VoiceOver' does nothing to educate them about screen readers or use of best practices for developing websites. Practices like using headings for easy navigation, or the need for the html correct labeling of buttons, graphics and links. I would think that filling in the tags that are right in front of one while doing web coding would be a no-brainer. However, I am possibly oversimplifying the issue.

Some helpful examples might be:

For info about the proper use of headings:
https://www.w3.org/MarkUp/html3/headings.html

For the proper use of button/graphics/links naming, using buttons as an example:
https://www.w3schools.com/tags/att_button_name.asp

It took me less than five minutes to look up the info about html tags above. Using these simple tags and giving names to web elements, plus using headings as headers for different sections of a web page is all that is really needed for proper accessibility use. Every webmaster does not need my private info about using my screen reader. Is Apple allowing this feature for something that is coming in the future? Maybe, but to coin an old phrase, this is like throwing out the baby with the bath water. How would Apple feel if I somehow got a hold of every Apple executive's sexual preference, created lists without showing any names and made the info available to anyone and everyone? There would probably be repercussions.

One last scenario:

I log into a web site using my email address and password. This site, if desired, immediately knows that I am blind. Best case, I suddenly start receiving two hundred extra junk emails a day, some of them scams, some with linked or embedded spyware/malware/virus infections. I know better than to have the preview panel open, mine is collapsed. I also know better than to open any of these junk mails, only select all and delete.

Also, do I really want to deal with tons of fake "cure my blindness" emails every day? Whether I look at them or not, most are rather insulting scams. Regardless, my 'blindness' situation is my own personal business. Or at least, it 'should' be. I do not believe that Apple intentionally presented this situation in this way. It seems more like a 'slip up' to me. I hope they implement this feature in a different way soon.

Why didn't they simply put a survey on the accessibility portion of their website? We could have chosen to fill it out without revealing any of our other info like our IP addresses and such. They could have the results posted right there for anyone to find and make use of. Apple could have verified themselves that we were using some form of accessible navigation. I would trust Apple with this info more than some random webmaster who may not realize what they are even seeing.

At any rate, I will stick with Apple computers and devices because they are normally the most stable, adaptable, accessible right out of the box. They have always taken this approach. I have tried Windows 10 with JAWS and with Narrator in the last few years. For me, there is still no comparison. With the VO Utility and IOS settings, being able to choose high-quality voices that can be downloaded from within the settings for free, setting multiple voices to read different attributes, being able to customize the keyboard/trackpad/mouse, using voice commands I can create myself, allowing for AppleScripts to script the system activated from any of these interface solutions, adjusting for blindness/deafness/motor skills/mental cognition, using Braille or switch devices or hearing aids, use of Dictation services, all of this for free, for me there is no point in going elsewhere. Sorry for sounding like an Apple commercial here.

Apple is filled with inspired people. Yet, they are still people. They 'do' make mistakes on occasion. When they do, I have no issues with pointing them out.

Again, excuse me for hi-jacking your comment. You have some good points. Having some faith and trust in Apple has always worked in the past for me, regardless of the occasional 'oops'. Besides, the air is getting rather thin way up here on my box, I should probably get down now. :-)
Best wishes.

#22 RE Roxann Pollard

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello Roxann Pollard,

Thank you for your input and confirmation. Sometimes I can come across a bit extreme. No, not me! :-)
It is good to hear that I am not one of the few. Like you, I am not jumping ship either. This will be sorted out soon. They 'did' give us a setting to turn it off. I am glad my post is helping to make others aware. This is what AppleVis is all about.
Best wishes.

#23 RE Malthe

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello Malthe,

While I am still a fan, I can see your point. It is a rather step out of character for Apple, in general. We each should make up our own minds about 'oops' situations like this one. Apple needs to read this post and see all the great comments. Maybe they would remember that not all blind and visually impaired people are alike. Assuming that we would all respond alike, or even that we all have the same situations is not cool! More of that background discrimination occurring? For shame, Apple.
Thanks for contributing!
Best regards.

#24 Not a problem

Having read the news letter for April, today on the 1st of May i thought this post had been resolved by the apple statement on accesability events. While the Accessibility Events control is on by default, the feature only functions when the AOM setting is enabled, which is a developer feature that is off by default. https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT209655