Apple CEO Tim Cook highlights Accessibility at Gallaudet University Commencement Ceremony

During a commencement speech at the country’s leading university for deaf people, Tim Cook reiterated his company’s commitment to the environment, privacy and accessibility.

On Friday, May 13, Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered his commencement address at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C., known as the only university in the world where deaf and hard-of-hearing students live and learn bilingually via American Sign Language and English.

On his speech, Cook told undergraduates that his one piece of advice – to lead with your values throughout life.

Cook said, “What does it take to build a life that provides meaning and fulfillment? No one can answer that question for you, and that includes me. There is no iPhone feature that can come to the rescue. AI is good, but it’s not that good. Still, I have one important piece of advice I want to share — so important, that it’s the only piece of advice I’m going to share today. And that is this: whatever you do, lead with your values.”

Cook stated that Apple’s goal has always been to create technology that helps enrich the lives of everyone, and that the company can only achieve that goal by being relentless in its focus on values, such as making technology accessible to all, implementing environmental responsibility, and ensuring that privacy is a fundamental human right.

The 152nd Commencement address from Tim Cook can be viewed on YouTube.

Cook’s speech comes after Apple TV+ film CODA (child of deaf adults) won an Academy Award for Best Picture back in March. The film is about a young woman named Ruby, the only one able to hear while the rest of her family is deaf. Thanks to sign language, Ruby acts as an interpreter for her parents while helping out in her family’s struggling fishing boat business.

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