Apple Highlights the iPhone’s Accessibility Features in Profile of Scott Leason, a Blind Navy Veteran That Surfs

Accessibility has always been a major focal point for its lineup, designed to help individuals with impairments use the devices.

But going above and beyond simply sending a text message, too, as Apple reveals in a new profile the company published about a United States Navy veteran by the name of Scott Leason. Apple notes that the veteran, who is also a surfer located in Southern California, uses his newly-purchased iPhone XR to handle a variety of tasks, including checking the weather, his email, social media, and, of course, surf conditions.

Leason is blind and can do all of this thanks to the accessibility features baked into iOS.

“Scott Leason is an early riser. By 5:30 a.m., he’s checked his email, social media, the news and the weather. He’s reviewed the day’s surf reports via the Surfline app on his new iPhone XR, prepping for the day’s ride. Before the sun rises on this particular Friday, he’s geared up and ready to go for his session at Mission Bay Aquatics Center in San Diego where he’ll surf Mission Beach.

And he experiences it all without seeing it. Leason is blind.”

Leason was blinded after he was shot by a robber, but through rehabilitation and Apple’s accessibility features, he has found a way to handle a variety of every day tasks despite the disability:

“Accessible mobile computer technology was still nascent [in 2009], but Apple’s iOS was quickly becoming a user favorite. In 2012, Leason received his first iPhone — the iPhone 5 — and training from Sarah T. Majidzadeh, assistant chief of Blind Rehabilitation at the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center in Long Beach. “It’s a lot easier to navigate with the phone,” Leason says. “I think a lot of the visually impaired prefer the iPhone because they can do everything on it. And VoiceOver works pretty darn good.””

The power and helpfulness of accessibility features can stand out even to those who might not require them, as a short story from one of Leason’s surf instructors perfectly encapsulates:

“The first time he got an iPhone and learned how to use VoiceOver, I asked him to show it to me because you just see him tapping the screen and to me it made no sense what he was doing cause it’s just like this flurry of tapping and these words coming out of the phone really really fast,” Paul Lang says. “And when he showed me all the stuff he could do with it, it just blew my mind that he had learned how to interact with it to get all of that out of it. … He’s no different than anybody else. He’s just sitting in the corner over there getting caught up on his phone or listening to music, reading, and sending text messages.”

Leason’s story is definitely worth checking out, which you can do through the source link below. The power of the iPhone and the features that Apple has made available within iOS are still impressive, even in 2018. And as Leason points out, that independence that these devices and software can offer is something not to be ignored:

“I’m independent,” he says. “That’s the best way to describe the iPhone: independence.”

[via Apple]