August 18, 2022
Seeing Chicago in a different way with iPhone and iPad
Individuals of The Chicago Lighthouse’s Pictures for All program achieve independence, confidence, and artistic abilities
Adetokunbo “Toks” Opeifa loves exploring Chicago. She travels the town unconcerned about dropping observe of a deliberate route, immersing herself in her surroundings and capturing photographs of her environment along with her iPhone. “Chicago is a grid system,” she explains. “Even if you happen to get misplaced, you don’t actually get misplaced, you simply stroll in the other way and also you’ll find yourself someplace.”
Within the first grade, Opeifa, now 18, was identified with cone-rod dystrophy, a retinal dysfunction that causes progressive imaginative and prescient loss and lightweight sensitivity. This yr, she is collaborating in Pictures for All, a program for youth who’ve low imaginative and prescient or are legally blind, launched by nonprofit The Chicago Lighthouse in partnership with the town of Chicago’s Division of Household and Assist Companies (DFSS) and Apple. Over the course of the six-week program, members have realized technical images, coding, and career-readiness abilities, however most significantly, they’ve gained instruments to assist them navigate the world round them independently and confidently.
Pictures for All is a part of the town’s One Summer season Chicago youth employment initiative, which supplies folks ages 14 to 24 with internships and job alternatives at authorities establishments, community-based organizations, and corporations all through the town. Since 2017, Apple has supported the town’s One Summer season Chicago program by means of its Group Training Initiative, serving to create alternatives for youth to develop new abilities with Everybody Can Create and Everybody Can Code guides. This summer season, greater than 200 college students skilled alternatives in images, videography, recreation design, coding, app improvement, augmented actuality, and extra by means of Apple-supported applications.
The Chicago Lighthouse supplied every of the Pictures for All members with an iPad Air, Apple Pencil, and Magic Keyboard to help their creativity. The iPad setup provided an expansive display with instruments to shoot, edit, and share their work. Many members, together with Opeifa, additionally used their very own iPhone to seize photographs on the go, seamlessly switching between gadgets relying on their wants.
Apple consultants skilled the scholars on utilizing the digicam and images settings they would want, in addition to the accessibility options constructed into the gadgets — together with VoiceOver, Apple’s built-in display reader, and Zoom, which magnifies on-screen components. For these utilizing VoiceOver on iPhone and iPad, Picture Descriptions accessible within the Digicam app makes use of on-device machine studying to assist place a topic and describe the objects, setting, and other people within the discipline of view.
Whereas visiting the Adler Planetarium and the encompassing Northerly Island Park for a ultimate day of capturing, Opeifa double-taps her iPhone display with three fingers within the Digicam app to zoom in as regards to her picture. “Earlier than I found Zoom, I’d simply maintain my telephone up all the best way to my face,” she says. “This fashion I can truly see higher.”
Opeifa has been utilizing Apple know-how since she was in kindergarten when her mother and father bought the first-generation iPad to assist her learn her schoolwork digitally. She laughs at a reminiscence of herself working round her household’s dwelling in Nigeria just a few years later with an iPad mini, excited so as to add to her assortment of Apple gadgets. Having spent a lot of her life utilizing Apple know-how, she is snug utilizing her iPhone to get a greater view of the world, and he or she’s additionally studying the best way to edit her images on iPad. Whether or not she’s navigating from one nook of the town to the subsequent, or capturing flowers, the town skyline, and some other snapshots of city life round her that pique her curiosity, Opeifa is hooked on visible storytelling.
“I like when footage inform a narrative,” Opeifa says. “This program is a pleasant start line for writing precise scripts as a result of I’m studying [how] to really painting visuals.”
Opeifa prefers movie and tv as a visible medium to convey her tales to life, and he or she sees picture enhancing as a approach to hone her screenwriting abilities. “Screenwriting and enhancing photographs are sort of the identical factor — particularly working with different people who find themselves blind, it’s important to be very descriptive,” she explains.
“I by no means get to see myself represented in tv as a Black girl who can be a visually impaired, legally blind particular person,” provides Opeifa, who’s heading to California this month to attend Chapman College to pursue screenwriting. “Tv is a means for folks to see themselves in several lights and completely different identities.”
Opeifa is only one of a number of Pictures for All members with daring, large concepts for his or her future. Lance Gladney, who’s keen about pursuing a profession in artwork, hopes to provide his personal anime franchise. Gladney joined this system to experiment with a brand new type of visible artwork. John Johnson — collaborating in this system for a second yr — is involved in electrical engineering or recreation design. And Alaula “Aihua” Sprecher is contemplating faculties the place she will be able to examine pc science, physics, and astronomy.
Shelle Hamer, The Chicago Lighthouse’s director of youth transition, and Lisa Davis, the previous director of One Summer season Chicago who introduced the thought for Pictures for All to The Lighthouse, are excited concerning the development each participant experiences.
“Confidence and vanity are laborious — or I believed could be laborious — to zoom in and train,” says Davis, who additionally served as director of youth employment at DFSS earlier than she retired. “However this program helped them open up and expose their confidence. It takes away the concept that they’ll’t do that.”
An artist herself, Hamer has loved a four-decade profession equipping people with disabilities with instruments and training to assist them lead extra unbiased lives. When she and Davis launched Pictures for All 4 years in the past, she was intrigued by the prospect of how folks see in a different way and specific themselves creatively — and noticed a chance to make use of Apple know-how and Everybody Can Create assets to help that work.
“The instrument of images has an actual profit to folks with imaginative and prescient loss,” Hamer says, “from each the creative facet and the practical. All the youngsters really feel that they’ve expanded their means to really feel that they’ll journey wherever, go to locations they’ve by no means been earlier than. The coaching they acquired on the accessibility options accessible on their iPhone and iPad has given them the arrogance to navigate the town and really feel unbiased in touring round unfamiliar areas on their very own.”
And that’s the overarching aim of this system, in any case: supporting youth of their quest to be unbiased and instilling in them the arrogance to take their future into their very own fingers. “It’s simply opened the world for them,” Hamer says.
Chloe Sanchez Candy
Apple Media Helpline