How to Check for App Accessibility?

Learn how to Examine for App Accessibility?

There are such a lot of explanation why YOU (and your scholar!) ought to know the way to verify the accessibility of an app with a display reader. Listed here are just a few of the commonest causes:

  • You simply came upon that your scholar’s class goes to make use of a brand new app and you have to preview the app to see whether it is accessible.
  • Your scholar didn’t full his/her task and acknowledged that the app was not accessible.
  • You’ve gotten been requested to elucidate to your faculty’s administration and/or IT division why your scholar wants entry to a distinct app than his/her friends.
  • You need to report back to the developer that one thing is just not accessible.

Whereas this submit will particularly have a look at iOS app accessibility, the identical thought course of applies to any system and any display reader.

First, verify that you’re utilizing probably the most present model of iOS – except you realize there’s a essential bug within the newest model, or a giant replace was not too long ago pushed out.  Usually updates after the large yearly replace will resolve bugs. Additionally make certain that you’re utilizing the newest model of the app itself. You do must know which iOS model you’re utilizing and the app model to report a bug to the developer.

Commonest inaccessibility points with academic apps designed for younger college students

Inaccessible Graphics

There are lots of academic apps designed for younger college students that are very visible. Many of those apps aren’t accessible with VoiceOver, because the display is a graphic – VoiceOver can not learn photos, solely picture descriptions/alt textual content. How have you learnt if the display is displaying a graphic? With VoiceOver on, open the app. Drag your finger across the app. Does VoiceOver announce what’s visually on the display? Or do you solely hear, the “thunk, thunk, thunk” earcon that signifies nothing is there?

Proper Swipe. Does VoiceOver announce something? Left Swipe. Does VoiceOver announce something? If nothing is introduced, that implies that the display is just not accessible with VoiceOver. Usually whenever you proper or left swipe on an inaccessible app, you’ll hear a deeper “thunk” sound that signifies you could have swiped and hit the wall – otherwise you had been on the final merchandise and swiped once more and nothing is there. Some apps could also be partially accessible, which means VoiceOver will announce one thing, nevertheless it doesn’t announce all the things on the web page.

Pictures with out picture Descriptions/Alt Textual content

While you drag your finger over a picture (or swipe to navigate Voiceover to the picture), VoiceOver will learn the picture description if one is obtainable. Sometimes VoiceOver will even announce “picture”. Bear in mind, the app developer had so as to add the picture description; the picture is just not accessible with out the picture description. Generally the picture can be introduced as a string of numbers after which the phrase “picture”; this does alert customers that there’s a picture, however with out a picture description, the consumer has no concept what picture is there. With academic apps, not labeling the picture steadily implies that the scholar can not full the exercise.

Notice: With many math apps, the developer will select to make use of a picture of a fraction, math image or equation and never an precise typed-out image. If the maths image is an image, it not accessible – particularly if the scholar makes use of a braille show!

Buttons Not Labeled

Buttons are areas you could choose, such because the Again button or Settings button. VoiceOver ought to announce the title of the button first adopted by the phrase, “button”. Instance: “Settings, button”. While you hear the phrase “button”, you realize you could activate it. To be accessible, each the proper label and the phrase “button” needs to be introduced.

Many mainstream apps designed for toddlers and preschoolers (quite simple contact wherever on the display and one thing occurs, are self-voicing. Nonetheless, the Play Button is just not labeled or can’t be activated with VoiceOver on, so the scholar can not even begin the app! Needless to say there are TVIs and members of the family who’re additionally blind or low imaginative and prescient and wish all of the buttons – together with the settings choices – to be accessible.

Notice: In case you have a brand new bug in an app that beforehand didn’t have that bug, do an Web search and see if others have this identical bug and if there’s a work round. You can even verify with colleagues and different sources, equivalent to Paths to Expertise.

Predictable Format 

Ideally, the app format mirrors the usual format with the software bar on the prime of the web page with the Again button within the prime left. This makes it simple for college kids with visible impairments to have the ability to discover the software bar. There are additionally extra VoiceOver instructions to leap to the primary merchandise on the display (first merchandise is usually the Again button) and to leap to the final merchandise on the display (final merchandise is usually the Subsequent Web page button).

Apps which have shifting graphics (just like the animated fish within the app above) are sometimes not accessible and if they’re accessible, it’s difficult for a scholar with visible impairments to discover a shifting goal. Within the instance of the Hungry Fish app, the scholar has to search out the shifting bubble numbers, drag one shifting quantity on prime of one other shifting quantity, then drag the numbers to the shifting fish.

The exception to that is self-voicing toddler apps such because the bubble apps, the place toddlers can randomly faucet the display with a number of fingers (imaginative and prescient not required) and pop the bubbles.

Motion on Display screen

It is usually vital that if there’s motion on the display that’s vital, that the motion is verbalized or indicated in some method. With mainstream academic apps for younger college students, usually the instructions are given visually with an arrow tapping or dragging an merchandise. Detailed verbal descriptions needs to be included for college kids with visible impairments.

One other instance of essential motion on the display is with coding idea apps. Many fundamental coding idea apps embrace easy coding (arrows or drag-and-drop code blocks) with the objective of constructing the robotic or character transfer – a visible solely motion. So even when the coding portion of the app is accessible, the scholar with visible impairments has no manner of figuring out if he/she coded accurately.

The CodeQuest app, a coding idea app, has made the maze accessible, as every block within the maze is introduced with VoiceOver. The directional arrows every have an assigned auditory sound and because the character strikes, that sound is heard. CodeQuest is a good instance of an accessible coding idea app. (Study extra about CodeQuest right here.)

VoiceOver Instructions Lively

Many academic apps require drag-and-drop gesture or command, which will be accessible with VoiceOver if the developer has included VoiceOver command. There are two items to creating drag-and-drop accessible. The primary, is to activate the VoiceOver command for drag-and-drop (which is double faucet and maintain, then drag). The second piece is that as you’re dragging, the consumer must know what he’s dragging over so as to know the place to launch the draggable merchandise.

Instance: Within the inaccessible Phrase Wagon app, there are three empty containers and three draggable letters. When the scholar drags or proper swipes to a letter, VoiceOver ought to announce that letter. When the scholar initiates the drag-and-drop command, VoiceOver will make the triple tone sound (indicating that drag-and-drop has now lively). When the scholar drags over the field, VoiceOver ought to announce “field 1, empty” or announce what’s presently in that field equivalent to “P, field 1”.

Screenshot of Word Wagon app with 3 inaccessible drag-and-drop letters and empty boxes.

Phrase Melodies is an app with a sequence of studying and writing video games, together with an analogous drag-and-drop recreation which is totally accessible. Study extra about Phrase Melodies right here.

Low Imaginative and prescient Accessibility

Many display reader customers do have some practical imaginative and prescient; apps ought to embrace low imaginative and prescient accessibility in addition to display reader accessibility. There are particular requirements for low imaginative and prescient accessibility, however right here are some things to remember:

  • Excessive distinction colours
  • Accessible fonts
  • Accessible sizes of letters, buttons, photos, and so on.)
  • Uncluttered background


Provide settings and options in order that customers can select their most popular settings. This may embrace low imaginative and prescient settings, but in addition mainstream decisions equivalent to turning the music on/off, what number of gadgets on the display, and so on. These settings will differ relying on the app content material.

VoiceOver Sequence

Whereas this isn’t as essential because the gadgets talked about above, it’s nonetheless vital and is commonly missed by builders. When opening a web page, the VoiceOver focus is mechanically on the primary merchandise on the display (usually that first merchandise is the Again button within the prime left nook). If the scholar proper swipes, the VoiceOver focus ought to transfer in a scientific manner (in a row left to proper) throughout the display – shifting by means of every merchandise till reaching the final merchandise on the display. The VoiceOver focus shouldn’t soar randoming across the display.

Notice: There are some apps that it’s applicable that when the web page opens, the VoiceOver focus can be on the primary content material and never on the Again button. Instance: In a math app, the VoiceOver focus may begin on the instructions or the maths equation on the prime of the web page and never on the Again button.

Beneath are two movies of fashionable mainstream academic apps that exhibit frequent accessibility points.

The primary video is the Hungry Fish app, a math app. This app has an animated graphic with fish and bubbles shifting across the display. The app itself is just not accessible with VoiceOver.


The second video demonstrates a quantity line app that’s nearly accessible.  When checking the VoiceOver sequence when proper swiping throughout the app, this app has quite a few VoiceOver bulletins for issues which can be hidden (not visually on the display). Notice, you may hear the three tones that point out drag-and-drop is lively, however drag-and-drop doesn’t work.



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