Petition to Apple's Accessibility Engineers regarding GarageBand

Accessibility Advocacy

Hello All! I have started a petition to Apple's accessibility engineers with special regard to Garage Band on the Mac.
After the release of GB V. 10.1.1, I submitted a number of bug reports including Quicktime screen videos; my reports were met with gratitude for my thorough research. When GB v. 10.1.2 was released in May 2016, and I read "accessibility improvements" in the 'What's New' section in the Mac App Store, I was accordingly excited. Nonetheless, not only were reported bugs not fixed, but new bugs were introduced.
Hohwever, the main thing that frustrates me is that we are still not able to fade in or out regions, tracks or define the fading length of the entire project. I would also like to be able to apply automations, rising EQ effects and the likes; in other words: things that sighted Garage Band users are able to do.
In a nutshell: I would really appreciate if you sign and share the following petition. I have also put together a short video clip which you are welcome to share. :)…

And the video link:

Many Thanks & Regards, Markus @MBoettnerMusic



Submitted by Joseph on Monday, January 30, 2017

I just signed it. Here's hoping things will work.

Submitted by Fatima.Hamoud10 on Monday, January 30, 2017

I signed the petition as well. Hopefully Apple will make some accessibility improvements.

Submitted by Chris on Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I just added my name to this. I don't personally use GarageBand, but I fully support any effort to make Apple products more accessible to VoiceOver users. We'll see if this goes anywhere.

Submitted by Toonhead on Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I'm hoping that a petition will be enough to make Apple stand up and pay attention. From everything I've seen, petitions don't usually help, but if you spread this one as far and wide as possible that'll help lots. Also it never hurts to contact them at with your concerns too. That seems to be the recommended way to communicate with Apple.

Submitted by Ekaj on Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I just signed as well. Disclaimer: What I'm about to say is only my personal opinion and experience. I have as I've stated before on this site, had good luck using VoiceOver and thank the accessibility team at Apple for their hard work. Having said that, I totally agree about GarageBand. I'm sort of a musician myself, and have played around in GB a little bit. While I was able to do some things, I have found the interface to be rather quirky and not what I expected given the other apps I've used with VoiceOver.

Hi All & many thanks for your comments and all your support!

I have filed numerous, numerous bug reports to regarding various VoiceOver issues.
I am a big fan of VoiceOver and appreciate apple's striving to make their products accessible to everyone. I always report issues to because I regard it as my responsibility as a caring customer to research bug reports as thoroughly as possible in order to make it as easy as possible for them to replicate the reported issues. I record Quicktime screen videos to demonstrate issues; I have had screen-sharing sessions with support advisors in the accessibility team while I had them on the phone...
The guys at know me by now. ;)

Submitted by Jonathan Candler on Wednesday, February 1, 2017

All right all. If you want more accessibility with production, especially with automation, Get, Logic. You can do automation and honestly, y'all are just waisting your time with GB all together. And I'm just going to say, a petition really doesn't need to be made just so apple can look at it and be like, disappointed in what they have done already. Really. Just because something is accessible, but not enough, doesn't mean that we need to create a petition about it. I'm just going to say this. You all that need everything accessible, and now, is just a sucky attitude and it shows that y'all that want accessibility all the way in a product means that y'all are not grateful at what is already accessible. Apple is not going to work on GB like they are with logic because, GB is not suppose to be like logic, all powerful. I have logic and I use it in my day to day production and I can do shit like automation and totally accessible. Yes, some things may need to be worked out, but it will be fixed in a matter of time. What's wrong with people, always demanding accessibility in a product that is mostly accessible. Look, it could be a lot worse and Garageband would not have became accessible at all. I just, don't, get, it. Rant over.
PS, Apple may or may not look at this silly petition. You all can't expect everything to be perfectly accessible. Gosh. All, pointless shit you'v got going. I don't mean to start anything here, but when all I see is blind people demanding accessibility from a product that is mostly accessible, just like the resolution that NFB passed in 2016 regarding apple breaking accessibility with their products that they release with IOS, y'all, got a problem and you truly need to look at the accessibility that we already have in Garageband and be grateful. Sure, things can be worked out, but it's nothing to get all jumpy and pissed off about.

Submitted by Annabel V on Wednesday, February 1, 2017

It's good that you want your voice to be heard, but just because it may not be accessible to most of you, you need to learn how to find work arounds. There are so many tutorials for visually impaired people that you can read. In my opinion, this petition is in no way necessary and it's best that you switch to Logic. Logic is so much more accessible than Garage Band and guess what? You can do every thing you said wasn't accessible on Logic way better than you can on Garage band. I have to agree with Jonathan Candler on this one. Don't demand more accessibility on a product that's already gone far and beyond to provide that to us all. I for one, am grateful that they even made it as accessible as it is right now. I also just started using logic and I love it. Before jumping to making petitions, ask around for other alternatives.
Take my comment however you want, but I was just stating my opinion.

Submitted by Darrell Hilliker on Wednesday, February 1, 2017


I signed the petition because I believe everything should be as accessible and inclusive to blind people as it always is for the sighted. It's really that simple...

I am disappointed and horrified to read some of the comments on this topic. :-(

Submitted by Joseph on Wednesday, February 1, 2017

While some of us would like to switch to logic (myself included) the high price tag makes that a bit difficult. There are better things to do with one's money than buying a $200 application. like getting food. And paying bills. And getting through college. Little things like that. :D

Submitted by Markus | @Blin… on Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Jonathan. I feel as if you are attacking me for having started this petition. You are attacking someone you do not even know for increasing awareness of accessibility.
Would you agree with this impression if you read your message again?

Jonathan, by your email you seem to be a prolific musician who knows what he is doing and who can justify spending 200 Dollar or euro on a professional software product.
I am happy for you that you are in this position. Sadly, not all of us are. Those who are, might be hesitant to spend 200 bucks on a pro software if the most basic features do not even work in the lite version. How would they know how accessible Logic is?

Jonathan, I agree with what you say about Garage Band not being supposed to be like Logic. I agree that Apple have to justify the price difference between an on-board tool and a pro software product. Nonetheless, this is not what this petition is about.
We are not talking about a difference in the quality of the software. Automations work for sighted users in Garage Band, and they should work for us, too.
It makes me sad to read comments like yours, comments that tell us to be grateful for what we have and stop striving. If our ancestors tens of thousands of years ago had stopped having sex and eating just because they were happy with what they had, none of us would be here today.

The only reason why you can create automations in Logic is that there are alternative ways to create automations in addition to the pencil tool. The same pencil tool which is not accessible in Garage Band is not accessible in Logic either. Accessibility improvements in Garage Band may well filter through to Logic. Hence, it won't hurt Logic users to sign the petition.

You called it a "waste of time". How long did it take you to put together your thoughts and write them down? And how long does it take to sign the petition?

#HistoryFact: There was a time when Logic was not accessible at all; and then there was a petition...

Submitted by Malthe on Wednesday, February 1, 2017


The new version of Logic has a great number of accessibility improvements, and it's really becoming a great DAW accessibility-wise.
I haven't looked into garage band accessibility in a while, but I can understand why Apple would prioritise the pro applications, and I'd much rather it be this way.
If you need to do serious music production, you will pay for logic or an other DAW regardless.
In an ideal world everything would be accessible, but if push comes to shove, I definitely prefer that Logic be prioritised over GB.
Just my $0.02


Submitted by Markus | @Blin… on Wednesday, February 1, 2017

In reply to by Malthe

Hi Malte,
Many thanks to you also for your comment. In principle, I agree, and as soon as I have 200 bucks to spare, I will certainly upgrade to Logic.

A few further comments:
• I heard from blind Logic users that the latest update brought some accessibility improvements but also broke other accessibility features which used to work better in previous versions.
• Accessibility improvements filter down from Logic to Garage Band but can also transfer from Garage Band to Logic.
• Garage Band can also be a product for Apple to hook users who will likely upgrade to Logic at some stage, such as I plan to do; and for this scenario it is worth it for Apple to have something as basic as fade-in and fade-out and some EQ effect curves working.
• Just because someone can't justify 200 bucks to purchase Logic that shouldn't prevent them from producing music.
I had a very inspiring chat with Mr. Rod Temperton, may he rest in peace, last year; and he said he knew quite a number of popular songs which were produced using Garage Band. Obviously, using Garage Band works just fine for some sighted people to produce quality music.
• Apple have committed themselves to include accessibility in their products, and they should follow the goal they have set for themselves.
• This discussion should not be one of Logic users looking down on Garage Band users but should be about all of us working together to help Apple with our feedback to make their products accessible for as many people as possible.

Hence, I have the strong belief and wish that Logic users sign this petition as well, because if Apple's engineers are able to replicate accessibility issues in one application this will benefit users of the other application as well.

Regards & Thanks to all of you for your support.


Submitted by Andy B. on Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Apple most likely will never listen to a petition. Did you try using Apple developer's bug reporter to file bugs against GB or Logic? I found it quite useful and very effective. Besides, sending bugs to the email address will usually end up in file 13 since they didn't come from an official channel. The accessibility email address is normally used for users trying to understand how an accessibility feature works.

Submitted by Joy Bausch on Thursday, February 2, 2017

@Markus: I commend you for being so passionately involved, it's what makes good things happen. Our voices need to be heard, so obviously I support this petition. What makes me sad is the attitude of some people commenting here. The negativity expressed in those comments is the exact negativity that is at the root of many problems in our community. To those people i can only say: I pity y'all, and i hope y'all will, at one point, understand how destructive y'alls attitude is. I read things like: "we should be grateful", and indeed, we need to be, since incredible improvements have been made possible for us. But we must not mix up being grateful with being intimitated. Demanding more accessibility is not an act of ungratefulness, it's the natural desire to excel, to make what's good better and better. To call this silly is, sorry, painful ignorance. And that ignorance, that horrible "blind-folks-attitude", keeps us, as a whole, from having access to even greater products than we have now. It's a shame that despite the disability that should unite us in our efforts there is such a close-minded dividing force among us.

Submitted by Ekaj on Tuesday, February 7, 2017

To the previous commenter, I could not have said that better myself. Apple has made great strides in accessibility. Even I know that and I'm more or less still a newbie on the Mac. Sure I've had mine since the end of 2013, but a very busy schedule has kept me from doing all that I've wanted to do on here. I am sick and tired of all this whining and complaining, and that's the very reason I haven't joined either of the blindness advocacy organizations here in the US. But don't get me started on that one. I do think there could be accessibility improvements on the Mac here and there, and GarageBand is one of those. But I also fully recognize that we've come a long way indeed in terms of accessibility, not just with Apple's products but all across the universe. Apple could've just been like, "screw you screen reader users," and I think the same could be said about other companies etc. But that's not the case at all.