Category Archives: Accessibility

The BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines come out of draft

Last June the Accessibility Team at BBC launched the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines. You can find out more about the background of the guidelines in a previous post.

Over the last few months we have taken on board feedback, both internal and external, refined the requirements, revised some techniques and most importantly housed the guidelines in their own prototype HTML app. We wanted to take the standards and guidelines out of their dry Word format so they would be easier to read and use. There’s a lot of information in the document – it covers HTML, Android and iOS techniques after all – plus it has advice relevant to UX, development and editorial so we wanted to find a way to present the information so that it was a bit more targeted to you, your discipline and what issue you are wanting to address.

We’ve added an optional feature of offline storage so that you can access them whenever you want regardless of connection. You can  also search the standards and guidelines by topic (images, forms, structure, text alternatives etc), by discipline (UX, Development, Editorial) as well as focus on just HTML, Android or iOS techniques.

We’ll be tweaking the app, trying new things out, so do let us know if you have any comments either here of via the BBC blog post about the Mobile Accessibility Guidelines.

Download a copy of the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines v 1.0

You can grab a copy of the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines v 1.0 from  the BBC Future Media Standards and Guidelines site.

Thank you

Big thank you to BBC who unfailingly support accessibility not just in terms of making products accessible but who also strive to make them fun, engaging and usable for people with disabilities. It’s an everlasting journey to try and get this right as technology changes but the BBC are by far the best organisation I have worked with when it comes to commitment.

There’s a small army of people who work hard on this within BBC but big thanks to Gareth Ford Williams who has supported and edited the guidelines and Ian Pouncey who has edited and helped pull together the site alongside IMI Mobile.

The BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines, otherwise known as ‘Are you missing a trick’, featured in .Net Magazine

The weird and wonderful reasons why people use subtitles / captions

I asked the following question over Twitter yesterday:

I’m curious to know, who uses subtitles on web content (X device) who’s not deaf or hard of hearing? For example I did when breastfeeding.

It’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves at the BBC as there seems to be plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting people use subtitles (closed captions) for all manner of reasons rather than just being deaf or hard of hearing. I used them when breastfeeding my little one and a participant in user testing recently said she did when she was blow drying her hair.

I got alls sorts of weird and wonderful responses but all of them important and necessary for everyday living. Adam Banks very kindly captured the responses on Storify.

Mobile accessibility podcast – Four-I’s

Many thanks to Iain Griffin of Four-I’s who invited me to do a podcast on mobile accessibility and the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines. In it we discuss how they evolved, how we are working with the guidelines at BBC and some of the principles and approaches to mobile accessibility for web products and native apps.

Have a listen to the mobile accessibility podcast over on the Four-I’s site.

The story behind the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines

I was interviewed by E-Access Bulletin about how we went about developing the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines. You can read the story behind the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines over at the E-Access site as well as a blog post on the BBC Internet Blog.

To download a PDF or Word copy of the guidelines visit the BBC standards and guidelines site for mobile accessibility.

Watch this space for some updated mobile guidelines coming soon and for a walk though of mobile accessibility below are slides I presented on an Introduction to Mobile Accessibility at AccessU earlier this year.

User testing observations with disabled mobile users

Below are a handful of observations from user testing on mobile websites and applications I’ve seen recently. All users had some form of disability including people with limited mobility, sight impairments, cognitive impairments  dyslexia or hearing loss. Testing was carried out using Android or iOS with blind users accessing using the TalkBack or VoiceOver screen readers respectively. For obvious reasons I can’t share with you any details about the products.

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