Apple teams up with Gallaudet University to showcase Deaf-friendly businesses

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The Apple Maps Guides can provide helpful information to travelers in specific cities worldwide, and Gallaudet University has begun making guides that focus on Deaf business.

Gallaudet University is a college in the Washington DC area that is considered the most prestigious school for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students in the United States. The college has teamed up with Apple to highlight Deaf-friendly businesses within Apple Maps.

In a story from Forbes, the university is described as an ideal partner for making Apple Maps Guides for the Deaf. Gallaudet uses technology and architecture to make its campus accessible and friendly to the Deaf community, and Apple Maps Guides is the next step in building out a wider community.

There are several businesses, from car mechanics to pet sitters, in the Apple Maps Guide. Before any business was added, the university considered a handful of criteria:

  • Is the location's customer/audience base geared towards the Deaf community with ethical consciousness of our language, culture, and community resources?
  • Is the site owned and operated by Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people, or does the site employ Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people?
  • Has the location embraced and found the significance, worth, and value of American Sign Language (and other signed/tactile languages), Deaf people, and Deaf culture?
  • Does the site show consideration and inclusion of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people in their workplace, audience, and community?
Gallaudet University provides Deaf-friendly Guides to Apple Maps
Gallaudet University provides Deaf-friendly Guides to Apple Maps

"We have developed a navigation system that will allow our students, alumni, and visitors to identify locations that are signing-friendly," said Bryce H. Chapman, the Director of Marketing at Gallaudet. "This has already shifted some of our admissions and recruitment efforts; we are now able to share our guides with prospective students and their parents and families so they can quickly experience what it is like to live and interact here at Gallaudet and in its surrounding neighborhoods."

The Washington DC guide is specific to the Gallaudet area in the city, but the university is working on other guides to bring awareness to Deaf-owned businesses for the community.

Apple has previously partnered with Gallaudet University to provide a new accessibility and education program. It included an iPad Pro for students and faculty, as well as scholarship support.

Anyone wanting to take a look at the Apple Maps Guide can look up Gallaudet University in the Guides section or follow a shared link. This Guide is likely the first of many with a focus on accessibility features and businesses.