International tech company Apple plans to up the availability of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters in its stores, reports information site iLounge. In the past Apple has provided ASL interpretation at its Washington, DC locations, starting in 2019 at its Carnegie Library flagship store. The District of Columbia is home to one of the country’s largest deaf populations as well as Gallaudet University, the United States’ most prestigious college for the deaf and hard of hearing. In the past, these DC stores provided Interpreters for both shopping and attending Today at Apple customer learning events. Online Today at Apple events have also been ASL accessible.
This program is being extended as customers across the United States can now request an ASL interpreter when they book store appointments online. The company is also expanding the interpreter program abroad: Deaf and hard of hearing customers in the United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland may now request interpreters for each of those countries’ respective signed language. Interpreting is available internationally free of charge.
This is not the only change the company has implemented within the last year to make the deaf community more comfortable shopping in its stores: During the covid-19 pandemic, Apple employees used specially designed, clear face masks that make it easier for customers to lip read.
In other language news this week, the French localization of Apple’s website underwent an interesting change: Product reparability scores are now listed that are not on the original language, English site. “This new feature meets [France’s] new ‘Right to Repair’ law and tells the consumer how easy or difficult a particular Apple product is to repair,” writes. “The repairability score is displayed right alongside details of Apple products and is a measure of one to ten.”with iLounge