Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Dillan’s Voice

It’s Autism Acceptance Month, and Apple put together a couple of touching films about Dillan Barmache, an autistic teen who is unable to verbally communicate, but who is enabled by his iPad and various apps.

Katie Duprie, Mashable:

Conventional means of speaking — moving your mouth and activating your vocal chords in complicated ways to produce standard sounds that others can understand — was impossible for him.

“So many people can’t understand I have a mind,” Dillan says in the film. “All they see is a person who is not in control.”

But Dillan says that the use of his tablet and AAC apps has helped him not only “see” his words, but hold onto his thoughts. And it’s made an incredible impact on Dillan’s life.

The first film, “Dillan’s Voice”, focuses on some of the ways that his communication has been enabled by technology; the second, “Dillan’s Path”, is more about his life so far, featuring interviews with his mother and his therapist.

A reminder to developers to ensure their apps are as accessible as possible. Apple has guides for iOS and OS X; other platforms have similar references. For web designers and developers, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has published a comprehensive reference.