Apple Map Guides can provide useful information to travelers in specific cities around the world, and Gallaudet University has begun to create guides that focus on deaf businesses.
Gallaudet University is a university in the Washington DC area that is considered the most prestigious school for deaf and hard of hearing students in the United States. The university has partnered with Apple to highlight deaf-friendly businesses within Apple Maps.
In a Forbes story the university is described as an ideal partner for making Apple Map Guides for the deaf. Gallaudet uses technology and architecture to make his campus accessible and friendly to the deaf community, and Apple Maps Guides is the next step in building a larger community.
There are various companies, from auto mechanics to pet sitters, on Apple's Map Guide. Before adding any businesses, the university considered a handful of criteria:
- Is the venue's customer / audience base geared toward the ethically conscious deaf community of our language? , culture and community resources?
- Is the site owned and operated by people who are deaf and hard of hearing, or does the site employ people who are deaf and hard of hearing?
- Has the location hosted and found the meaning, value, and worth of American Sign Language (and other sign / tactile languages), Deaf people, and Deaf culture?
- Does the site show consideration and inclusion of deaf people and hard of hearing in your workplace, audience and community?
Gallaudet University offers guides for deaf people from Apple Maps
"We have developed a navigation system that will allow our students, alumni and visitors to identify locations that are eligible for signing, "said Bryce H. Chapman, Gallaudet's chief marketing officer. "This has already changed some of our admissions and recruiting efforts; we can now share our guides with prospective students and their parents and families so they can quickly experience what it's like to live and interact here in Gallaudet and in the surrounding neighborhoods."
The Washington DC guide is specific to the Gallaudet area of the city, but the university is working on other guides to educate the community about deaf-owned businesses.
Apple has previously partnered with Gallaudet University to provide a new accessibility and educational program. It included an iPad Pro for students and teachers, as well as scholarships.
Anyone who wants to see the Apple Maps Guide can search for Gallaudet University in the Guides section or follow a shared link. This guide is probably the first of many that focus on business and accessibility features.