“We have established an open-mindedness and willingness to try different approaches that fit our customer the best,” says Leon. “With the trust and strong collaborative relationship among us, we were able to create the best experience for all of us. It might be using iPad to communicate with a deaf customer. It can be launching the Big app on iPhone, but it’s definitely teamwork with teammates who are deaf. We are constantly finding new ways to communicate with the Deaf community.”
Asked about her experience and preparation during her time at Gallaudet, Leon again mentions the University’s tradition of pushing learning experiences forward.
“When I attended my social work classes, we would focus on the importance of technology and how it influences our youths, especially their early childhood education,” Leon says. “We analyzed and discovered the results of early exposure to coding, reading, and how graphic design sparked their creativity and curiosity of learning. If I have to describe Gallaudet University in one sentence, it has to be innovation in technology.”
This fall, Apple and Gallaudet have also collaborated on the inauguration of scholarships for students of color with disabilities who are pursuing degrees and coursework in information technology, computer science, and other science, technology, and mathematics fields. The new scholarships will also give students the opportunity to participate in Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
“It’s an honor to work with such an innovative institution as Gallaudet,” says Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Markets, Apps, and Services. “It’s great to see technology have this kind of impact across an entire university while also bringing coding together with American Sign Language and creativity. It’s so exciting that Gallaudet students will participate in WWDC next year.”