The Breakroom

Now You Know How It Feels

April 3, 2019

By Craig Hockenberry

keyboard keys

Are you one of the many people affected by a MacBook keyboard failure?

If so, you now have the slightest hint of what it’s like to live with a disability. You can’t use a product like everyone else and it’s preventing you from achieving your goals.

Maybe you say “screw it” and write an article for the Wall Street Journal without those keys. Or maybe you hang on desperately to an old laptop (these words are coming from a MacBook purchased in 2013.) An external keyboard might be a temporary workaround.

But there is a clear distinction here: you have a course of remedy. You can take the laptop in for service or choose a different model. And while a failing keyboard is definitely a problem, it pales in comparison to someone’s permanent disability.

Unfortunately, options are often more limited for people with physical challenges, and they may have to make the best of a less-than-adequate product. There’s no store that can fix the problem.

The good news is that there’s plenty you can do as a developer to start helping someone. Try using that new keyboard to make another person’s life better – it not only feels great to be making a positive change in the world, but you’ll also end up with a better app that appeals to a more diverse audience.