Apple retail stores in almost a dozen countries are now providing prescheduled sign language interpreters, free of cost, to customers in need of this service.
Customers with a hearing disability can now go on on their store’s website to ask for a sign language interpreter to be present at their next store visit. The request link will send an email to the store, and Apple will follow up to book an appointment.
Currently, prescheduled interpreter services are available at Apple Stores in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, and Austria.
Apple has a long standing history of excelling in retail accessibility.
In 2019, it started providing ASL interpreters at its flagship D.C. Carnegie Library store. As well, Apple has a partnership with Gallaudet, an University for deaf students.
Over 30 members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community work at the Carnegie Library store.
‘Today at Apple’ creative sessions, both in-store and online, are often accompanied by sign language interpreters. Apple also installs assistive listening systems at all of its stores outfitted with a Video Wall for live events.
The implementation of mask-wearing, due to Covid-19, brought on many challenges for those with hearing disabilities who rely on lip reading. To ensure inclusivity for this segment of customers, Apple employees began wearing transparent face masks so they could still read lips.