Wired recently published a piece on building accessible mobile apps: "Three Things to Make Your App Stand Out When Building for Accessibility". In the article, Matthew Wee details the challenges of creating accessible mobile apps when no standardized rules for mobile accessibility have been created in any concrete form.
"Mobile has overtaken desktop as a means to access information and the popularity of mobile devices today necessitates the need for apps to be built with accessibility in mind."
The tips are good, basic practices for accessible design - make sure your application can be accessed by a screen reader and read out accurately and coherently, give useful and clear image and link descriptions, make sure your layout is clearly delineated and easy to follow, and so on.
Mobile accessibility is an especially interesting issue for those of us in the web accessibility and web accessibility software field because it's an example of accessibility issues that affect users regardless of ability. Have you every tried to visit a website on your smartphone only to find the layout totally incomprehensible on the mobile device? Have you ever visited a page with pictures of text that render horribly on your hi-definition tablet? Have you ever tried to use your finger to access a drop-down menu that require's a "mouse-over" action to activate the dropping down of the menu? Those are all accessibility problems. Imagine if that's what the entire Internet was like all the time.
Have you been working on accessibility problems and mobile technology? You might be eligible for the Amaze Digital Accessibility Grant. We will be awarding a $10,000 grant to a promising accessibility technology project.