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National Federation of the Blind: "Apple has done more for accessibility than any other company to date"

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) recently passed a resolution calling upon Apple to work even more diligently to foster an app development environment where accessibility features are not discarded or diminished when an app is updated.

In the wake of this resolution, Reuters took the news and ran with it in a bizarre direction. In a rather misleading article titled "Advocates for blind, deaf want more from Apple," Christina Farr paints a story where Apple and the NFB are at odds. In the process, Farr included a incomplete, and again, misleading quote from Apple's Tim Cook while also claiming -- erroneously -- that the NFB sued Apple in 2008.

The Reuters article attracted quite a bit of attention, prompting NFB President Mark A Riccobono to pen a letter this past Friday wherein he clears up any misunderstanding resulting from the Reuters article.

Suffice it to say, Riccobono was none too pleased with the Reuters piece, calling it a "provocative and poorly reported article." Indeed, he notes that Reuters was forced to correct the assertion that it had once sued Apple.

Riccobono's letter reads in part:

Apple has done more for accessibility than any other company to date, and we have duly recognized this by presenting the company with at least two awards (including our annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award) and publicly praising it whenever the opportunity arises. We do not want to needlessly antagonize a company that has been such an outstanding accessibility champion. Nevertheless, inaccessible apps continue to proliferate, and blind users cannot update the apps on their iPhones without anxiety.

All in all, the NFB's stance is well balanced and reasoned: While the NFB appreciates all that Apple has done thus far, it wants to continue working with the company in an effort to make even more improvements going forward. Hardly the controversial or tense relationship that the Reuters article attempted to portray.

On a related note, a listing of accessibility feature Apple currently supports for iOS can be found here.

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