Accessibility is the ability of a person to handle any object, access any service, or place. If we specify this term to mobile accessibility then it means that how easily a person can use and access mobile apps or websites.
Till 2019 Google Play had 2.8 Million applications, App Store had 2.2 Million applications and Microsoft had 669 thousand applications but how many of them are accessible? Less than it should be.
Mobile phones are designed in such a way that perfectly suits our needs but this is not the case for everyone. Yes, I am talking about a physically disabled person. According to research, 15 % of 7 Billion population of this world is physically disabled and 200 Million of them face difficulties in their routine tasks. These statistics look weird and shocking but that’s true.
Developers character in mobile accessibility
People with physical disabilities face problems using several applications and sites in their mobile so W3C (Web Accessibility Initiative) is taking steps to make applications and sites accessible and easy to use for physically disabled people. WAI’s usually work in the area where people use multiple devices for interaction like mobile phones, tablets, TV or others.
There are few misconceptions that mobile accessibility is a difficult task, complex, costly or only a few people have physical disabilities. The thing is we don’t teach the creators, how to make accessible applications and sites, their only focus is on perfect coding and how to make the best applications and sites that just rain money whether it is accessible or not. Many times, resolving mobile accessibility issues is a task pushed to later, which is depressing.
How mobile accessibility is helpful for physical disability
Mobile accessibility is a worthy feature for physically disable people like:
- A blind person can use software to read news, websites, and apps loudly.
- People with hand tremors can use software to give voice commands instead of typing.
- Someone having a low vision can zoom mobile screen for better understanding.
- A person with bad hearing can turn on captions when watching videos.
It is noticed that sites and applications having suitable mobile accessibility have more traffic as compare to others.
Mobile accessibility is not just a problem of the physically disabled, it impacts us all. You can feel this impact when you have low vision, bad lighting, noisy place, swollen fingers, or using mobile one-handedly.
Guidelines for mobile accessibility
Mobile phone screens are comparatively small so showing a suitable amount of data with zooming options and perfect contrast will help the reader and make apps and sites accessible for them.
Using keyboard controls for smartphones make it accessible for disable person. There should be keyboard settings like gestures, keyboard size, spacing, or optimizing touch target so that the user can set them as easily as it sounds.
Mobile should support multiple layouts (landscape or portrait) which can shift automatically with the change in position of the user. Multiple layouts with tips and instructions for the user which explain how to use them. Provide multiple methods of data entry for the user’s convenience. To make this world better companies and developers need to improve mobile accessibility otherwise, it will create a lot of trouble for every living person.