WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: open vs. closed products or accessibility supported or not


From: Paul.Adam@dars.state.tx.us
Date: Feb 22, 2011 2:18PM

Apple's Mac and iOS platforms are accessibility supported. They include accessibility features at no extra cost such as the VoiceOver screen reader, Zoom screen magnification, and White on Black reverse contrast mode. VoiceOver supports accessibility of native apps and web sites accessed through Safari.

Just like any other platform it is up to the developers of the app or website to include the necessary accessibility attributes to interface with Apple's Accessibility API and make their product sound great with VoiceOver.

To inspect for accessibility you can run the accessibility inspector on the app in the iOS device simulator. The Inspector will display in text what accessibility attributes are applied to each element clicked on.

You can also use VoiceOver on the physical iPhone or iPad device to test apps and websites for accessibility. I do it all the time. I love to use my iPhone and iPad as a web accessibility testing tool! It's also a great way to explain my job to people. ARIA works as well.

All I know about Android is that many features are accessible but not all their native apps are such as the mail and the browser which is a pretty big limitation. I hear they are working on it and hopefully one day it will be able to compete with iOS.

I know blackberry has a screen reader that they charge extra for unlike iOS or Android.

Don't know anything about WebOS. I hope they are working on it though with their HP TouchPad tablet coming out.

For the open/closed system question. You could say that Apple's app store is closed because they have special requirements to gain entry. Disappointingly though, accessibility is NOT required for entry. But their Safari browser is essentially an open system, if you don't count flash or other plug-ins. It's based on the open-source WebKit project that's used for
Android and Chrome too. So there are no special requirements to create a Web App for iOS.

Paul Adam
Accessibility Specialist
Center for Policy and Innovation

-----Original Message-----
From: Hoffman, Allen [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 12:02 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] open vs. closed products or accessibility supported or not

When is a system considered accessibility supported, or "open/closed"?.

If a system has available assistive technology, available accessibility
services for applications to utilize, but no inspection tools are
available to determine if indeed object information is being used, and
if so, is it accurate, is the platform considered accessibility
supported or open/closed?

So, for Apple platform what inspection tools are there?
So for Android, what inspection tools are there?
So, for Blackberry what inspection tools are there?
So, for WebOS what inspection tools are there, or for that matter what
accessibility services are there?

I know Linux and windows inspection tools exist.

Allen Hoffman