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Everything You Need to Know about Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPAT®)

What is a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template?

The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (or VPAT®) is the industry standard format for documenting accessibility conformance of information and communications technology (ICT) products and services. The VPAT report format was developed by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) and is offered free-of-charge for businesses and organizations looking to document accessibility conformance of their products.

There are four versions of the Voluntary Product Accessibility template:

Voluntary Product Accessibility templates for Section 508 & WCAG conformance are available for download on the ITI website: https://www.itic.org/policy/accessibility/vpat .

Do I need a VPAT?

You’ll need a completed VPAT if you plan to sell products / services directly to the Federal government. Also, organizations that receive Federal funding are required to ensure that products purchased using Federal funds are accessible for Assistive technology users.

Also, many states and universities now require a VPAT® when using state funds to purchase information and communication technology (ICT). For more information about state accessibility standards, please visit the Section 508 website: https://www.section508.gov/manage/laws-and-policies/state/ .

We recommend that businesses that sell products or services to a diverse market invest in developing a Comprehensive Accessibility Report (a completed VPAT) to help buyers understand the accessibility features and limitations of their products.

What type of VPAT® is right for my business /organization?

The choice of format for the Voluntary Product Accessibility template would depend on a number of factors including:

  • Business jurisdiction / location.
  • Location of markets where products/services are offered.
  • Type of client (i.e., government agency, business, non-profit organization), etc.

Here is a breakdown of our recommendations:

  • VPAT 2.4 Rev 508 – suitable for businesses and agencies that are required to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (Revised Standard). This would include businesses/agencies that receive federal funds.
  • VPAT 2.4 Rev EU – suitable for companies doing business in the European Union (EN 301 549), or with a significant business presence in the EU.
  • VPAT 2.4 Rev WCAG – suitable for businesses looking to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 & WCAG 2.1). This would include retailers and other businesses looking to comply with ADA Title III.
  • VPAT 2.4 INT – suitable for businesses and agencies looking to comply with Section 508, WCAG, and EU accessibility standards.

Most of our clients operate in the United States and use the revised Section 508 and revised WCAG VPAT formats.

What is the process to secure a VPAT?

If you have an accessibility expert in house, you can simply download the appropriate VPAT template from the ITI website and complete it using accessibility information that your team has compiled through testing and development of your website or app.

If you do not have an accessibility expert in-house, we recommend completing a formal conformance evaluation of your website / app to assess compatibility of your product with assistive technology devices. A conformance evaluation involves testing your product with both automated and manual tools (including a screen reader) to verify and document conformance with Section 508 and/or the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

At Aurora, we can assist you with a formal accessibility conformance evaluation of your product/service, and accessibility documentation of accessibility compliance (including a completed VPAT / Accessibility Conformance Report).

Need Help?

Need help with a Voluntary Accessibility Template? Please contact us or request a quote today.


Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2022

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Aurora Design and Consulting celebrates Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 19, 2022. Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is intended to increase awareness and dialog around accessibility issues.

In recognition of accessibility awareness day, we’ve assembled some resources and links to help you get started:

Accessibility Resources

Things that you can do

Aurora is committed to helping you achieve your accessibility compliance goals. We offer website accessibility audits, accessibility training, direct support, video captioning and other services to help raise awareness and build organizational capacity for accessibility.

Need Help?

Need help implementing an accessibility conformance plan? Request a quote today.


US Justice Department Provides New Guidance on Website Accessibility

The US Department of Justice has issued new guidance on website accessibility as it relates to Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The new guidance highlights the importance of website accessibility, and what businesses and agencies can do to achieve compliance.


Tips for Publishing Accessible PowerPoint Presentations

Microsoft PowerPoint is an excellent choice for publishing accessible presentations for all audiences (including people with disabilities). As with most Microsoft products, its important to use the latest version of PowerPoint (i.e. Office 2021 or Office 365) to ensure that you are getting all of the latest accessibility features including:

  • Accessible templates/themes for your presentations.
  • Built-in accessibility checker to quickly identify accessibility errors.
  • Tools and resources for publishing accessible presentations.

Here are some quick tips to help you get started with accessible publishing in PowerPoint

Use PowerPoint Themes to Format your Presentation

PowerPoint includes bundled themes which are pre-formatted for accessibility. Slide design templates include basic formatting for accessibility including: headings, list formatting, etc. You can access PowerPoint themes by selecting the Design tab in PowerPoint and choosing “More” under the Themes panel.

Important Note about Themes – When choosing a theme, some color combinations may not be fully accessible for people with low vision. We recommend selecting a theme with good color contrast (text) or updating theme colors to ensure accessibility for low vision users.

Screenshot showing theme options in MS PowerPoint

Title Your Presentation

Titling your presentation ensures that AT users will hear a description when opening your presentation. You can give your presentation a title by selecting File → File Info in PowerPoint, and adding your title under “File Properties”.

Screenshot showing File Properties in MS PowerPoint

Title Each Slide in Your Presentation

PowerPoint themes include a title box for your slide title. Be sure to enter a title for each slide in your presentation.

Screenshot showing Slide title in MS PowerPoint

Add Alternate Text Descriptions for Images

Alternate text descriptions are read in place of images by screen readers and other assistive technology devices. All images that convey information in your presentation should include alternate text descriptions. You can add alternate text to images in your presentation, by right clicking on the image, and selecting “Edit Alt Text”.

Screenshot showing image properties in MS PowerPoint

Identify Decorative Images

Use the “Mark as Decorative” option in the Alt Text pane to identify images that should be ignored by assistive technology devices.

Screenshot showing image properties panel with decorative image checkbox highlighted

Add a Header Row for Data Tables

Tables can be a challenge for AT users to navigate and understand. We recommend using tables only for displaying tabular data and avoiding table layouts for visual formatting.

To add a data table in PowerPoint, select Insert a Table, and select the number of rows and columns to add.

Screenshot showing Insert Table pane in MS PowerPoint

Once you have added your table, select the table and choose “Table Design” from the main menu. In the Table Design panel, ensure that the “Header Row” option is selected.

Screenshot showing table design properties in MS PowerPoint

Use Bullet and Numbered Paragraph Styles for Lists

Bullet and numbered list styles are included in the paragraph panel in PowerPoint. You can add a new list by selecting a text box and choosing the Bullet or Numbered list option in PowerPoint (under the home tab).

Screenshot showing list formatting options in MS PowerPoint

Use the Built-In Accessibility Checker in PowerPoint

PowerPoint includes a built-in accessibility checker to help you quickly identify and resolve accessibility errors in your presentation. You can run the accessibility checker while editing your document by selecting Review → Check Accessibility in PowerPoint.

Screenshot showing Accessibility Checker in MS PowerPoint

Verify the Order of Elements in Your Slides Using the Selection Pane

The selection pane allows you to arrange the order of elements in your slides to match the visual reading order. You can access the selection pane by selecting the “Home” tab and choosing “Selection pane” under “Arrange”.

Screenshot showing selection pane in MS PowerPoint

Please Note: the order of elements in the selection page is reversed—so items at the bottom of the selection pane will be read first.

More Tips for Accessibility

  • Ensure adequate contrast for slide text. You can check accessible color combinations by using Web-AIMs Color Contrast Checker.
  • Avoid inserting video and audio content directly in PowerPoint files. Instead, provide a link to videos with captions and/or audio description in YouTube, Vimeo or other video hosting platform.
  • Ensure that text is sufficiently large for low vision users. Generally, 24pt is a good starting point for visual presentations.
  • Avoid using slide transitions or animation–as these might confuse AT users.
  • If you intend to distribute your presentation online, be sure to covert your file to tagged PDF format (using the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Professional).

Need Help?

Aurora provides training and direct support to help you reach your accessibility compliance goals. Contact us today for a free consultation, or request a quote for training and professional development solutions.


Global Accessibility Awareness Day

May 19th is Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

At Aurora Design and Consulting, our mission is to make the world a more accessible place for people of all abilities. We recognize and celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day, and hope to use this day as an opportunity to educate our clients and the community about the importance of accessibility in all that we do.

Accessibility, first and foremost, is about inclusion. By making technology accessible, we are opening up opportunities for people of all abilities and backgrounds. Here are some things that you can do to contribute to a more accessible world:

Tips for Accessibility Awareness Day

  1. Check your website for accessibility using Web-AIM’s Wave Accessibility Evaluation Tool.
  2. Develop an accessibility plan for your organization. Check out our conformance planning services for more information
  3. Provide captions and a media alternative for prerecorded video and multimedia content. If you need help with captioning, please check out our video captioning services.
  4. Test your documents with built-in accessibility checkers, and address any accessibility errors:
  5. Get accessibility training to build capacity and expertise within your organization.
  6. Get direct support to help ease the transition to accessibility compliance.

Aurora is committed to helping you achieve your accessibility compliance goals. We offer website accessibility audits, accessibility training, direct support, video captioning and other services to help raise awareness and build organizational capacity for accessibility.

If you have questions about website accessibility, or need help planning for accessibility compliance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Need Help?

Need help implementing an accessibility conformance plan? Request a quote today.


Quick Tips for Publishing Accessible Word Documents

When publishing documents for the Web or electronic distribution, its critical to ensure that they are fully accessible for assistive technology (AT) users. Accessible documents work well with AT devices such as screen readers, braille displays, etc., and are free from accessibility barriers such as reading order problems, missing alternate text descriptions, and other errors. Check out the tips below for more information about accessible publishing techniques for MS Word.

Please note: the instructions and screenshot provided are for the latest version of Microsoft Word for Windows. If you are using MacOS or an earlier version of MS Word, please consult documentation for the version of Office/Word that you are using.

Add a Title for Your Documents

The document title is the first thing that is read when an AT user opens your document. To ensure that the purpose of your document is clear, it’s important to include a descriptive title for AT users.

You can add a title for your documents in Word by selecting File → File Info and adding a descriptive title under Properties.

Screenshot of MS Word with File Properties highlighted

Use Heading Styles to Structure Your Documents

Headings are important to help AT users understand the structure of your documents. Complex documents may include many heading levels including: Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, etc. When using headings, it’s important to ensure that they are nested correctly. Heading 2 should be used for subheadings under Heading 1, Heading 3 should be used for subheadings of Heading 2, and so on.

Microsoft Word includes predefined styles for headings in the Styles panel that are easily customizable. Check out the screenshot below for more information.

Screenshot from Microsoft Word with styles panel expanded

Provide Alternate Text Descriptions for Images

Images that convey information should include an alternate text description for assistive technology users. Alternate text should be short (if possible), but sufficiently descriptive to fully explain the purpose and context of images in your documents.

To add alternate text for an image, right-click on the image and select “Edit Alt Text”. Add a description in the Alt Text Task pane, or check the box “Mark as decorative” for decorative images.

Screenshot from Microsoft Word with alt text panel highlighted

Format Lists using Paragraph Styles in Word

List formatting is essential to ensure that AT users understand the structure and relationship of lists in your document. When lists are formatted correctly, AT users are alerted to the structure of lists including the type of list, number of list items, etc.

MS Word includes paragraph styles for ordered and unordered lists. Please see the screenshot below of the Paragraph styles panel with Bullet and Numbered lists.

Screenshot of Microsoft Word with Bullet list styles highlighted

Avoid Using Tables for Layout and Include a Header Row for Data Tables

Tables can be difficult or impossible to navigate for assistive technology users. To ensure that AT users can navigate your tables, its essential to reserve table layouts for data tables, and use appropriate markup for AT users.

Microsoft Word includes formatting options for data tables. For simple tables, ensure that the option to make the first row a header row is checked under Table Properties. Also, we recommend unchecking “Allow row to split across pages”.

Screenshot from Microsoft Word with Table properties dialog highlighted

Use Columns Instead of Text Boxes to Preserve Reading Order

Documents with many text boxes can be difficult to understand, as the reading order of your document might not match the visual reading order for sighted users. To ensure the correct reading order for your documents, we recommend using columns (wherever possible) to ensure the correct reading order for AT users.

You can format your document using columns, by selecting Layout → Columns in Word.

Screenshot from Microsoft Word with column layouts menu expanded

Use the Accessibility Checker in MS Word to Scan Your Documents for Accessibility Errors

Microsoft Word comes with a built-in accessibility checker that can help you quickly and easily identify accessibility errors in your documents. The accessibility checker is an automated tool which scans your documents for accessibility errors and presents errors and warnings in the accessibility Task pane.

You can activate the checker in Word by selecting Review → Check Accessibility in Word.

Screenshot from Microsoft Word with accessibility checker highlighted

Conclusion

Microsoft Word includes many great features for authoring accessible documents. By taking a few minutes to add formatting and scan your documents for accessibility, you can make your documents more accessible for AT users.

The list of techniques above is not exhaustive but is a great starting point for publishing accessible documents in MS Word. If you are interested in a comprehensive training on document publishing techniques, please check out our training solutions for more information.

Need Help?

Aurora provides training and direct support to help you reach your accessibility compliance goals. Contact us today for a free consultation, or request a quote for training and professional development solutions.


Website Accessibility Editorial Featured in Star Advertiser

Website accessibility for people with disabilities — long one of the most important and least understood needs of the information age — is coming into sharp focus as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turned 30 last month.


Aurora Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Image Credit: ADA National Network

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law thirty years ago on July 26th, 1990. Since 1990, the ADA has evolved to become the cornerstone of civil rights legislation for people with disabilities. The ADA protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in places of public accommodation, employment, and other aspects of everyday life.

The ADA has evolved over the years to provide broader protections for people with disabilities. Some recent changes include:

  • In 2008, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 broadened the definition of disability to make it easier for people with disabilities to seek protection under the ADA. Learn more about the ADA Amendments Act
  • On July 23, 2010, the US Attorney General (Eric Holder) signed an amendment to revise ADA Title II and Title III guidelines to include ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Final rules went into effect on March 15, 2011.
  • On November 26, 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch signed a rule to clarify business obligations under Title III of the ADA. The rule requires that owners and operators of movie theaters provide captioning and audio description for movies that are produced with these accessibility accommodations.

The ADA ensures that individuals with disabilities can receive critical services and supports including state and local government services, and public accommodations provided by businesses.

ADA Titles

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 consists of three titles:

  • ADA Title I covers equal access to employment for people with disabilities. This act prohibits private employees, state and local governments, employment agencies, and labor unions from discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in hiring, job placement, training, advancement and other aspects of employment.
  • ADA Title II ensures that people with disabilities can access critical services and supports provided by state and local governments. Learn more about ADA Title II
  • ADA Title III protects people with disabilities from discrimination in areas of public accommodation including restaurants, shopping centers and other places of business. ADA Title III has been more recently interpreted by the courts to include virtual places of accommodation (i.e. the Web). Learn more about ADA Title III

Accessibility Challenges

Despite the promise of the ADA to make inclusion universal for people with disabilities, there are still many obstacles to accessing goods and services. Online services, which are not explicitly covered by ADA Title III, are often difficult or impossible to access with assistive technology devices such as screen readers, braille displays, screen magnifiers and more.

To make matters worse, The US Department of Justice recently punted on the issue of online accessibility — as it tabled rulemaking on website accessibility. This essentially leaves the important issue of website accessibility up to the courts to decide. Also, while many attorneys are eager to help people with disabilities, lawsuits over online accessibility accommodations are a lengthy and difficult process.

Conclusion

At Aurora, we believe that access to online services is a fundamental right for people with disabilities. The US Department of Justice should revisit the issue of online accessibility, and work to codify accessibility Guidelines (i.e. the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) into law under ADA Title III.

The stakes could not be higher, as the accessibility of the World Wide Web, and the inclusion of people with disabilities in every aspect of life are in question.

Check out our website, and learn more about our services at: https://www.aurorahawaii.com/ .


The Promise (and Potential Pitfalls) of Automated Accessibility Solutions

Artificial intelligence (AI) holds the promise of transforming every aspect of our lives. From self-driving cars to autonomous robots, AI-powered solutions are revolutionizing industry and transforming the way we live, work and play.

AI-powered accessibility solutions are an emerging field in accessible technology—and could one day make the Web universally accessible to people with disabilities. These bolt-on accessibility solutions promise a quick fix for accessibility and are alluring for businesses facing accessibility lawsuits or other compliance issues. But buyer beware— there are limitations to automated accessibility solutions, and these limitations could subject businesses to unexpected liability.

Aurora recently completed an audit of popular AI-powered accessibility solutions, and while we were impressed with some features, we did find accessibility errors in sites using these technologies. Common errors included:

  • Images with low quality alternate text, and decorative images with non-empty alt text.
  • Keyboard accessibility problems including missing keyboard focus, elements not receiving focus, keyboard trap, keyboard focus contrast issues, and other problems.
  • Incorrect heading structure.
  • Contrast controls that cause text in buttons and other controls to become unreadable.
  • Video content missing a media alternative or text-transcript.

Despite the promise of automated accessibility solutions, there are many limitations to the technology that prevent these solutions from being totally effective in remediating accessibility barriers.

Common Accessibility Errors

Here are some common accessibility errors that we identified in our analysis of automated (AI-powered) accessibility solutions:

Low Quality Image Descriptions

AI solutions for image descriptions currently rely on OCR or other technologies to determine image content and meaning. Unfortunately, these technologies cannot determine if an image is purely decorative or has semantic meaning. Also, complex software may be able to identify an object in an image but determining the purpose of an image in the context of page content is much more difficult for machines. While Facebook and other large tech firms have had some success with automated image recognition, this is an emerging field, and there is much work to be done.

Keyboard Accessibility Problems

Keyboard accessibility problems can be difficult or impossible to identify and diagnose without human testing. AI-powered solutions can identify and attempt to fix common keyboard accessibility problems, but there are many problems that they may miss.

Ensuring that websites work seamlessly with a keyboard requires manual testing to verify that menus, form controls, and other components work well with a keyboard only.

Video Captioning Errors

Companies like Google offer auto captioning for video content to provide a stopgap or bridge to accessibility. Problems with auto captions are numerous and include missing speaker identification, grammatical and captioning errors, timing problems, and other errors. Videos with low-quality audio or background music can make accurate auto captioning difficult or impossible for speech recognition software. While this technology continues to evolve, human captioning is superior to automated captioning to ensure conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Other Considerations

Legal Liability

Having an automated accessibility solution in place might discourage website owners from having their websites tested regularly to verify and document accessibility compliance. This means that websites could have undetected accessibility barriers and expose business owners to unexpected liability.

Promoting Best Practices

Automated accessibility remediation could cause developers to ignore accessibility, result in poor development practices, and cost business owners more money in the long run.

Ownership

AI-powered accessibility solutions add a layer of accessibility to your website and help to interpret and change markup that poses an accessibility barrier. Unfortunately, when you stop paying for services, you lose all accessibility features and the benefits that come with them.

Cost

The cost of automated accessibility solutions could easily surpass the investment required to build an accessible website for your business. For smaller websites (costing a few thousand dollars), the investment to build an accessible website would pay for itself in 2-3 years.

Conclusion

While AI holds tremendous potential for making the web universally accessible, there is much work to be done to improve the effectiveness and accuracy of automated solutions. Also, automated accessibility solutions can give businesses a false sense of security, and subject business owners to unexpected liability.

While these solutions are far from perfect, they may be a good temporary stopgap for companies working towards developing more accessible web content.

In conclusion, manual testing is the only 100% effective method to identify and address accessibility barriers. Manual testing with assistive technology will always be a best practice for ensuring that web content complies with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

At Aurora, we recommend both automated and manual testing to identify accessibility barriers, and we offer industry-leading support to remediate accessibility barriers.

Need Help with Your Website?

Get industry-leading support for your website today!


Quick Tips for Developing Accessible Mobile Apps

Accessibility is critical to ensure that euxmobile apps reach the widest audience possible, and comply with accessibility laws and regulations.

Android and iOS development environments include accessibility features to help people with disabilities access and use apps. Common accessibility features include dynamic text and layouts, accessibility labels and hints, accessibility traits, and other features.

Here are some quick tips to make your apps more accessible for assistive technology users.

Use Accessible Color Schemes

Color contrast is critical for color-blind and low-vision users. Using accessible colors for text ensures that your content is readable for all users (including people with disabilities).

To ensure accessible color contrast:

  • Avoid placing text over background images
  • Avoid using color alone to convey information
  • Check lighter shades of text (i.e. grey text) to ensure sufficient contrast.

Web-Aim’s Color Contrast Checker is an excellent tool for testing color schemes for accessibility and WCAG conformance.

Apple and Android provide specific guidance for developers regarding accessible contrast and color schemes:

Provide Accessible Descriptions for Images and graphics

Image descriptions provide accessible information for AT users about the purpose and content of images. Both Android and iOS include methods for adding a description to an image.

In Android, you can include a description for an ImageView using the android:contentDescription attribute. Learn more about accessible images in Android

In iOS, you can provide an accessible description for images by setting isAccessibilityElement to true and adding an accessible label (accessibilityLabel). Learn more about accessible labels for images in iOS

Use Dynamic Text Sizes

Dynamic text allows users can increase text sizes using accessibility settings in iOS and Android. By using dynamic text in your layouts, you can ensure that your app works with larger fonts enabled in iOS and Android.

In Android, you can specify font sizes in scalable pixels (sp) to allow fonts to adjust to user preferences. For Android apps, we recommend testing your layouts with larger fonts enabled to ensure that they work well at all font sizes. Learn more about pixel densities in Android

In iOS, you can take advantage of dynamic type by using predefined text styles such as headline, body, and title1. You can configure text styles to adjust to user preferences in interface builder or directly in source code. Learn more about dynamic type in iOS.

Use Adaptive Layouts

Adaptive layouts ensure that your app is usable on the widest array of screen sizes and orientations. By providing an app that can work on both landscape and portrait formats, you can ensure that people with disabilities can access and use your app on tablets, phones, and other mobile devices.

In Android, you can create adaptive layouts by using flexible layout dimensions (dp), creating alternate layouts, and using nine-patch bitmaps for scalable graphics. Learn more about adaptive layouts in Android

iOS supports Auto Layout for designing adaptive interfaces. Auto layout automatically adjusts the layout and presentation of your app based on screen resolution, orientation, dynamic font size, and other factors. Learn more about adaptive layouts in iOS

Ensure Adequate Touch Target Sizes

Ensuring adequate touch target sizes is critical for users with motor and visual impairments. Target sizes should be large enough for users to easily activate and use touch controls. In the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), the minimum touch target size for priority AAA conformance is 44 x 44 CSS pixels.

For Android, Google recommends that touch targets should be at least 48dp by 48dp. Extra padding can be added to text links to meet this requirement. Learn more about touch target sizes in Android

In iOS, touch target sizes should be at least 44 by 44px to ensure that users can easily activate interactive components. Learn more about touch targets in iOS

Ensure that Controls Receive Focus in a Logical Order

Assistive technology devices such as Talkback and VoiceOver provide a visual focus indicator to help orient users. Managing focus is critical to ensuring accessibility for assistive technology users.

The focus order for your app should match the visual reading order to ensure accessibility for AT users. If the programmatic focus order of elements does not match the visual reading order, some users may have problems using your app.

For both Android and iOS, its important to test your apps with assistive technology to ensure that the focus order matches the visual reading order. In Android, you can override the focus order in your app using XML. Learn more about managing focus in Android

For iOS, focus order is determined by the physical layout of controls in your app. You can adjust the layout and reading order of elements by using the UIAccessibilityContainer element. Learn more about UIAccessibilityContainer for iOS

Provide a Unique Title for App Screens

Provide a unique title for all app screens using the app bar title. The app bar title helps orient users and should summarize the content or purpose of the screen.

In Android, you can use the default ActionBar or Toolbar to configure a unique title for your app bar. Learn more about the app bar in Android

In iOS, you can configure and customize the UINavigationBar to display a unique title for your app. Learn how to customize the app bar in iOS

Use Headings to Structure Your App Screens

Headings provide semantic information about the structure of your app content. Screen readers such as VoiceOver and Talkback also allow users to navigate using headings.

In Android, you can use the accessibilityHeading attribute to identify headings for accessibility services. Android also supports accessibility-friendly pane titles using the accessibilityPaneTitle attribute. Learn more about headings and titles in Android

In iOS, you can organize your content into sections using the UIAccessibilityTraits header property. Learn more about section headers in iOS

Provide an Accessible Label for Form Controls, Buttons and Other Interactive Components

Providing accessible labels for forms and buttons is critical to ensure that assistive technology users can access and use your app. Accessible labels describe the purpose of a control and should be clear and concise.

In Android, you can use the contentDescription attribute to add an accessible label for interactive components. Learn more about accessible labels in Android

In iOS, you can use the accessibilityLabel property to assign an accessible name for interface components. Learn more about accessible labels in iOS

More Tips

iOS includes UIAccessibilityTraits to help assistive technology users understand the purpose of controls. Use accessibility traits in iOS to provide additional semantic information for assistive technology (AT) users.

Conclusion

Android and iOS development environments include accessibility features to help you develop and deploy accessible apps. Here is a brief summary of techniques for accessible app development:

  • Use dynamic type and layouts
  • Provide accessible labels for forms, buttons and other interactive components
  • Markup lists, headings, and other components for accessibility
  • Ensure that all interactive components receive focus in a logical order

By making your apps accessible, you can reach the widest audience possible, avoid legal liability and comply with accessibility regulations.

If you have questions about accessibility or need help, please do not hesitate to contact us. Also, you can check out our mobile accessibility solutions page for more information.

Need Help Testing Your App for Accessibility?

Check out our mobile app accessibility solutions for more information.



 
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