Last EURO-CIU Workshop in Barcelona 2018, members from all over Europe asked EURO-CIU to work on social media to have more visibility. On that point, our past vicepresident, Ervin Bonecz, explained the job he already had started to lobby with Apple to achieve a Cochlear Implant memoji to raise awareness to our normally “invisible” disability.
This project was a long one and even if our vicepresident is no longer with our Board, we want to congratulate him for all the work done then that now, years later, has finally given its fruits.
This 20th may Apple has announced the new memoji’s will be on additional features coming later this year to better represent users with oxygen tubes, cochlear implants, and a soft helmet for headwear.
During the announcement, Apple as well showed new powerful software updates designed for people with disabilities. Apple is also launching a new service, called SignTime that enables customers to communicate with AppleCare and Retail Customer Care by using American Sign Language (ASL) in the US, British Sign Language (BSL) in the UK, or French Sign Language (LSF) in France, right in their web browsers.
In a significant update to the MFi hearing devices program, Apple is adding support for new bi-directional hearing aids. The microphones in these new hearing aids enable those who are deaf or hard of hearing to have hands-free phone and FaceTime conversations. The next-generation models from MFi partners will be available later this year.
Apple is also bringing support for recognizing audiograms — charts that show the results of a hearing test — to Headphone Accommodations.
Users can quickly customize their audio with their latest hearing test results imported from a paper or PDF audiogram. Headphone Accommodations amplify soft sounds and adjust certain frequencies to suit a user’s hearing.
We thank Apple for hearing the demands from EURO-CIU and engineering technology to respond to everyone’s needs. We hope all the industry will follow them and hearing loss and cochlear implant will be more visible than ever.