Apple Announces ‘Multifaceted Collaboration’ With Gallaudet University

Apple and Gallaudet University are partnering up to make learning more accessible for students as well as provide them with both academic and career opportunities.

According to a new Apple press release, Gallaudet, a private university for deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind students will be distributing an iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and SmartFolio case to all students who are enrolled in the fall semester.

This “multifaceted collaboration” will see Apple and Gallaudet teaming up to provide new accessible technologies, career options, learning opportunities, and more to students.

“We are grateful to Apple for entering into this exciting collaboration with us, and for its support in so many other ways,” says Roberta J. Cordano, president of Gallaudet University. “While Connected Gallaudet was in the works even before the novel coronavirus pandemic, it has become transformational for us as we moved entirely online for the fall semester.”

The university will also be the first to participate in Apple’s new scholarship program for students of color with disabilities who are interested in technology, computer science and other science, technology, and mathematics fields (STEM). The students will also be invited to WWDC, Apple’s yearly developer conference.

“Gallaudet has been at the forefront of advancing education and acceptance of Deaf culture in this country for more than 150 years,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, in Gallaudet’s press release. “We are honored to work together with this incredible institution to create even more opportunities for Gallaudet students and for all underserved and underrepresented communities.”

Apple has long been a company that embraces accessibility products. Early on during his time as Apple CEO, Tim Cook talked about Apple’s belief in the power of accessibility tech during a speech at Auburn University. Cook said that, “People with disabilities often find themselves in a struggle to have their human dignity acknowledged. They frequently are left in the shadows of technological advancements that are a source of empowerment and attainment for others. But Apple’s engineers push back against this unacceptable reality. They go to extraordinary lengths to make our products accessible to people with various disabilities from blindness and deafness to various muscular disorders.”