William at work in the Apple Store, holding his iPhone and with his guide dog by his side; a customer asks him a question.

Off to a running start.

William’s story

The products really opened up the possibilities for me. Then the Apple Store did.
William, Apple Store Specialist
Shanghai, China

Question: You appeared in an Apple Watch video, even before you worked at Apple? Answer: That’s right. I’m just one of several in the video. They were telling customer stories and included me because I use my watch to train and run 5Ks and half-marathons. My social apps really blew up with congratulations when everyone saw it.

Question: How did you start working at the Apple Store? Answer: A running partner who worked there referred me. The store had always felt good to me as a customer — I wasn’t treated as someone who’s blind. Question: What do you mean? Answer: They welcomed me and answered questions, but nobody was trying to escort me around and tell me to watch out for this or that. Question: Had you considered working there before? Answer: Not at all. I didn’t realize I could. Now that I’m here, I help all customers with all products, though I’m especially familiar with fitness apps and accessibility features.

William’s running shoes hanging by their laces
My colleagues come to me for my expertise and I go to them for theirs. We all depend on each other.
William’s Apple Watch, with graphic lines that represent Siri speaking

Question: What attracted you as a customer? Answer: I think the same things everyone likes about the products — so simple to use, fun, and for me, very empowering. For the latest Global Accessibility Awareness Day, our Apple T-shirts said, “Designed for Everyone,” and it reminded me of when I first heard that years ago, before I owned an Apple product. My reaction was “That’s impossible!” Question: What changed your mind? Answer: Everyone, including me, uses Siri, listens to music and audiobooks, and with VoiceOver, I can read my screens and navigate through my devices. Question: Looks like you also navigate with help from a furry, four-legged device. Answer: Yes, my guide dog, Bell, comes to work with me — he’s even got his very own Apple employee ID badge.

The guide dog’s Apple badge with dog emoji

Question: You’ve made contributions beyond the store, too. Answer: Yes, I’ve participated in a number of accessibility events with Apple, both internal and public, as a guest speaker or part of roundtable discussions. Question: What’s your role there? Answer: It’s about building awareness, describing roles at the store, and why accessibility issues shouldn’t hold you back.

Representing Apple at events has been a whole new kind of experience for me.

Illustrated on iPad