Sketchy Rumors Claim Accessibility Products Coming to the Apple Store in Early 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

AppleInsider is reporting on claims coming out of Japan that the Apple Store will begin selling accessibility-related peripherals and accessories for OS X and iOS devices in early 2016.

According to this report, there is no information on what actual products will be featured:

It is not yet clear what products or product categories Apple plans to market, though the company's current device lineup supports a broad range of hardware, from "Made for iPhone" hearing aids to braille displays.

The Made for iPhone hearing aids mentioned above would appear to be something that could sit comfortably in the Apple Store, along with alternative input devices for Mac users and large print keyboards for low vision users. Looking beyond this, you quickly move into the territory of what is more likely to be wishful thinking.

As with all Apple-related rumors, this report should be taken with a pinch of salt until we hear something definitive from Apple itself or products simply appear in the Apple Store. However, this is far from the typical topic that we see in the Apple rumor mill, so this perhaps gives it some credibility.

We have reached out to Apple to see if they can confirm this rumor. In the meantime, please post a comment to share your thoughts on this possibility and let us know what product types you realistically think that we could see Apple begin selling.



Submitted by Tim Hornik on Monday, December 21, 2015

It all depends on the items Apple selects whether this might bolster awareness of disability related peripherals or just be an attempt to put on a good show. Items like the Hearing Aids seem to make the most sense, followed by keyboards for visual impairments and hand concerns. For example, I really struggled with trying to feel the Macbook 12" keyboard, making a peripheral highly valued. Other items like Braille Displays, switch controls, and whatever else one might think of would be nice but doubt many would purchase them given the cost. Heck the Speed Dots screen overlays would be wonderful to see in the Apple Store, given how useful they are.