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Tim Cook Gives A Lesson In How To Talk To People With Disabilities

The Apple CEO joins celebrities like John Oliver, Michael J. Fox and more in the Cerebral Palsy Foundation’s PSA campaign.

Outside of patrolling the stage at WWDC or another big Apple product announcement, we don’t typically see Tim Cook in marketing mode, but the Apple CEO makes an exception in a new PSA for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

Cook joins others like John Oliver and Michael J. Fox in the organization’s “Just Say Hi” campaign, aimed at removing any stigma or awkwardness when it comes to talking to people with disabilities. Here Cook gives a distinctly Apple-style tutorial on how to strike up such a conversation, enlisting Siri’s help to show just how easy it is.

Apple products feature a range of accessibility features including Siri, Switch Control, Dictation, and Assistive Touch, and you can also download the Just Say Hi app in the App Store.

Cerebral Palsy Foundation CEO Richard Ellenson says the new campaign is designed to break through our cluttered media landscape using three things, stopping power, simplicity, and staying power. “Our celebrity stops you in your tracks, the simplicity of the message gets out there immediately with a question you’ve probably chosen not to ask yourself, and the answer brings about an emotional response that reminds us of our common humanity, which is of course the point of the entire campaign,” says Ellenson.

Ellenson says the campaign began with William H. Macy, who played a man with CP in the movie Door to Door. “And many of our celebrities have connections to people with CP, whether friends, family members or acquaintances,” says Ellenson. “And in spots like John Oliver’s you can sense the integrity and depth with which people not only embrace the critical issue of this unnecessary awkwardness, but also look for a path forward.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor and writer with Co.Create. He's a former staffer at Advertising Age, Creativity and Canadian Business magazine.

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