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First Seven Steps to accessible mobile apps

Creating mobile apps that are accessible to the widest possible set of users is a journey. It is in fact a journey without an end as developments in app technology and the platforms they run on create new accessibility challenges and also opportunities to make mobile apps more easily accessible.

Like any long journey it starts with a single step followed by another and another.

This document suggests seven initial steps that will improve accessibility and by charting the direction make the rest of the journey easier.

The seven steps do not need to be carried out in the order described below. Please read all seven and then start planning the first step. When you have completed the first seven steps you should have:

  • An app that is more accessible

  • An understanding of the benefits of accessibility

  • A view of the following steps

  • A view of the continuing journey

The document concludes with a list of further reading including guides and maps to help you make accessibility an integral part of your apps.

The Seven Steps

The suggested seven steps are:

  1. Learn about accessibility.
    Learn how a user with a disability may use your app.

  2. Quick accessibility check.
    Get an estimate of how accessible you app is now.

  3. Publish an Accessibility Statement.
    Express your intent to be accessible.

  4. Provide a Contact Us function.
    Enable users to tell you easily about accessibility issues.

  5. Ensure reading sequence is logical and comprehensible.
    Ensure page navigation is simple.

  6. Create a user interface that is easy to understand and operate.
    General usability is an underpinning of accessibility.

  7. Ensure text formatting can be altered.
    Allow users to read text using a size and theme that meets their requirements.

These seven steps should significantly improve the accessibility of most apps. But they are only the first few steps to good accessibility practice.

The seven steps are relevant to all mobile apps irrespective of the form factor, hardware or operating system.

Because different platforms implement accessibility in different detailed ways this document does not include any instruction on implementing the recommendations on specific platforms.

The report ends with a list of related reading.

Please Comment

This document is designed to be a live document and we encourage the users and readers to add comments: positive, negative, extensions, examples, technical details.  The comments will be monitored and over time changes will be made to the document to reflect the comments.

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