Tim Cook visits AssistiveWare

2 minute read

We’ve seen that Apple cares about accessibility. There have also been signs that Tim Cook personally cares about making sure Apple’s devices work for everyone. During his visit to the AssistiveWare office we experienced this first hand.

We have all seen that Apple really cares about making their products accessible to people with all abilities. It started with VoiceOver, next was Guided Access, then Switch Control and many other iOS and OS X features focused on specific needs or based on universal design. There have also been clear signs that Tim Cook personally cares about making sure Apple’s devices work for everyone. Yesterday we experienced this first hand.

On his way to the European Startup Fest, Tim Cook stopped by our office yesterday. One thing that became totally obvious is that he really cares about more than the bottom line. We had some great conversations with him about the apps we make and how they make a difference to our shared user community. We also spoke about the challenges of truly supporting multiple languages in symbol-based Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) apps. He had excellent questions and clearly not only values the work we do, but was eager to learn more about how the software is used in practice as well as the unique challenges our users face.

Tim Cook talks to AssistiveWare's employees

Tim spoke with several team members about the work they do and how we incorporate feedback from our user community into the design process. He asked us to demo some products, including Wrise, our universal-design word processor for Mac, Proloquo2Go, our symbol-supported AAC app and Proloquo4Text, our text-based AAC app. We spent quite some time talking about Proloquo2Go. He asked about the optimal grid-size for beginning users and Jennifer, our VP of Clinical Development, explained the various considerations involved and the need to model language when using an AAC system.

Tim Cook in the AssistiveWare office

Tim encouraged us to continue on our mission. It was inspiring and motivating for us, our team, and hopefully for everyone involved in the field of assistive technology. The most exciting part about the visit was meeting a kindred spirit. Someone like us, who knows this may be a niche area, but one in which we can all make a great difference.

Tim Cook with David Niemeijer and Martijn Leopold