Reuters posted an article this morning about how blind and deaf people want more from Apple in making apps accessible. I’m all for this, and from what I’ve seen from Apple over the years, they are in favor of improving accessibility features in OS X and iOS too.
However, one thing that stopped me in my tracks while reading the article is a quote the Reuters reporter used from Apple CEO Tim Cook’s speech at Auburn University in 2013.
Here’s what the reporter used in the story:
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook in a 2013 speech at Auburn University described people with disabilities “in a struggle to have their human dignity acknowledged.” He said, “They’re frequently left in the shadows of technological advancements that are a source of empowerment and attainment for others.”
Here’s what Tim actually said:
“People with disabilities often find themselves in a struggle to have their human dignity acknowledged, they frequently are left in the shadows of technological advancements that are a source of empowerment and attainment for others, but Apple’s engineers push back against this unacceptable reality, they go to extraordinary lengths to make our products accessible to people with various disabilities from blindness and deafness to various muscular disorders. I receive hundreds of e-mails from customers every day, and I read them all. Last week I received one from a single mom with a three year old autistic son who was completely non-verbal, and after receiving an iPad, for the first time in his life, he had found his voice. I receive scores of these incredible stories from around the world and I never tire of reading them.” “We design our products to surprise and delight everyone who uses them, and we never, ever analyze the return on investment. We do it because it is just and right, and that is what respect for human dignity requires, and its a part of Apple I’m especially proud of.”
Dear Reuters, you fucking morons: You can’t pick and choose which parts of a quote you want to use to fill the narrative of a story you already have written. You could have written a fine story about accessibility and everyone would have agreed with you, but what you did is show your lack of integrity, essentially harming a very important message about accessibility.
Next time, stick to the facts.