Last Sunday I started a petition asking Apple to make Logic Pro, their professional music creation software, usable for blind users. My main goal in doing this is to create the awareness among the music software vendors, including Apple, about the serious problems the lack of accessibility poses for blind musicians, engineers, educators and users at large.
What is this all about?
Devices, both desktop and mobile, have opened a lot of amazing opportunities for people with disabilities. BBC’s Click and Accessibility documentary gives you some sneak peek into how some of this technology works. The bottom line is that thanks to these technological breakthroughs it is now possible to browse the web, run businesses, hang out on social networks, play games, etc, even if you cannot see the screen, use keyboard or a mouse.
Unfortunately, the music industry at large has ignored the needs of blind musicians. There are only a handful of software solutions available. Some of those require third-party extensions, yet others provide very limited functionality. For the most part you will have tough luck trying to use contemporary plugins, software synthesizers and DAWs (desktop audio workstations) if you cannot see the screen. What’s worse is that you are not able to do that even if you have the latest assistive technology installed on your computer (refer to the video above for more information).
You don’t have to search the web for too long to learn that Apple was the company that brought revolutionary access to touch screens on iOS for blind people. Equally, they have introduced free assistive technology into every Mac and pretty much every Apple hardware device shipped today. This technology provides access to the browser, desktop navigation, many third-party apps, etc. Therefore, in some ways it is illogical that one of their flagship products, Logic Pro, cannot be successfully used with the assistive tools they themselves introduced.
My hope is that the petition will encourage the Logic team to take accessibility seriously and introduce the necessary fixes to enable blind musicians worldwide to take part in the revolution.
What can you do?
Please help me spread the word about the initiative, sign the petition and encourage others to do the same!
Thanks in advance!