Ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (Dec. 3), Apple has released an celebratory new spot that highlights its commitment to accessibility.
The spot, created in-house and helmed by top director Kim Gehrig at Somesuch, following the journey of seven different people as they go about their days, using Apple accessibility features such as image describing, Magnifier and Siri, as they navigate their way through the world.
From a blind performer using a phone while picking out his outfit and then finding his way to the stage, to a teenage cheerleader with Down Syndrome who uses Apple tech with her schoolwork, to a deaf mom who uses Apple Watch to detect when her baby is crying, we see how the various features help them to achieve great things in their everyday lives.
The spot is set to an original track titled “I am the Greatest” that uses lyrics from the speeches of Muhammad Ali, who himself became an advocate for disability after developing Parkinson’s late in life. A recital of Ali’s words by Spinifex was then remixed by one of the spot's cast, Cola Boyy, aka Matthew Urango, a disabled music artist and producer who opened Coachella this year. Another cast member, the blind Juilliard-trained jazz pianist Matthew Whitaker, then improvised on top of the track.
The spot is an uplifting watch that does a good job of demonstrating the tech. And, much as Channel 4 tried in last year's Paralympics campaign, when it evolved its "Superhuman" campaign to show Paralympic athletes more as human beings that superheroes, it moves the dial on portrayals of people with disabilities in ads; only in this case, these aren't sports people but ordinary, talented people who happen to have a disability.