Apple has been awarded the prestigious Helen Keller Achievement Award by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) for breakthroughs in accessible technology, especially for VoiceOver, a gesture-based screen reader that allows users to hear a description of everything happening on the display. AFB announced the names of the four honourees on its website who received the award for 2015 at a special gala in New York City.
Awardees include Apple Inc. for breakthroughs in accessible technology, actor Charlie Cox for his portrayal of a blind superhero, Ward Marston a musician/recording engineer with vision loss, and Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. for pioneering treatment of a circadian rhythm disorder, Non-24 Sleep-Wake Disorder that can affect people who are totally blind.
“We are honoring accomplished individuals and companies for their success in improving quality of life for people with vision loss either through groundbreaking innovation or inspirational achievement that changes perceptions about what it means to be visually impaired,” said AFB President & CEO Carl R. Augusto.
Back in in 2009, Apple received an AFB Access Award for its trailblazing engineering of accessible products and continues its extraordinary efforts to make their products accessible for everyone. AFB notes on its website that with these innovative technologies built right in, “Apple products become powerful and affordable assistive devices”.
The award ceremony was held at the J.W. Marriott Essex House New York, 160 Central Park South on June 18th.