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High Sierra Accessibility Features for People with Hearing Impairments

The features of a computer have come a long way, especially for accessibility. For many people, using a computer is easy. However, is using a computer just as easy for those who have a disability, or is it harder? For this post, we will outline some of the High Sierra accessibility features for people with hearing impairments. Keep in mind that while many features are available across the whole Apple product line, the features may differ depending on the age of the product.

High Sierra Accessibility Features for People with Hearing Impairments


To start, FaceTime is a video chat app on Apple products that is used in real-time. People who use sign language can talk over FaceTime with other Apple users.


Next, current Apple products have Siri, a virtual personal assistant. To turn on Siri, users simply say “Hey Siri.” After Siri is prompted, users can ask their question or say their request. Apple has now programmed Siri to respond not only by voice but also to a typed “chat”. Much like Hey Siri, users can type:

  • Commands
  • Questions
  • Tasks
  • Other requests

Closed Captioning

Whether an individual is deaf or hard of hearing, customizable captioning is an available feature on High Sierra. The user can alter the font, opacity of the background, and text or background colour to their specific needs.

This feature is available on specific programs, such as iTunes and QuickTime.

Many products are available in the iTunes store that use the closed captioning feature, such as:

  • Movies
  • TV shows
  • Videos
  • Podcasts

Mono Audio

Another feature High Sierra has is mono audio. Typical stereo audio is played through both left and right channels. This means that when people are listening to audio through their headphones, the right and left headphones are emitting different sounds. Mono audio is a feature that allows an individual who may be hard of hearing or deaf in one ear to adjust the audio. That way, people will hear audio they might miss if it reached only the ear with less hearing.

Screen Flash

Lastly, screen flash is a vital feature on High Sierra. Normally, a sound is used as an alert. However,  individuals with hearing impairments can opt out on the sound for a flash alert. The screen will work with any program that uses the beep system on the computer.

In conclusion, High Sierra accessibility features for users with hearing impairments come equipped on current Apple products. There are many different types of software that can add to the users’ experience. Access to these features is a vital part of an inclusive workplace as Ontario strives to become fully accessible by 2025.