Our lives are powered by mobile convenience. It’s how we apply for jobs, pay bills, order food, make and keep friends. Consider what would happen if you had to function in the mobile world without sight. This is why mobile accessibility apps are not just a good thing to do, they’re a necessary part of inclusion.
Accessibility apps can make a difference in inclusion
We asked Tyler, one of WeCo’s Accessibility Specialists, how mobile apps built for accessibility inclusion impact his life as a person living with limited vision.
“Apps like Seeing AI from Microsoft reclaim my ability to read documents, perceive colors, count money, and even recognize the faces of loved ones. Where before my surroundings were cloaked in uncertainty, a quick scan of the camera paints a picture of city streets and cliffside trails alike. It would be a challenge to overstate the usefulness of this app – Tasks, from color-coordinating socks to medicating a headache, turn from a risky gamble to a quiet victory.
The power of AI combined with the built-in sensors included in most devices become my lifeline to independence. Where AI fails me, there are other apps like Be My Eyes which can instantly connect me with a live, human assistant over a video call. Where Seeing AI leverages advanced technology, Be My Eyes uniquely empowers humans to work together to solve everyday challenges facing the blind and visually impaired.”
Mobile accessibility apps for everyday needs
Tyler added this about mobile accessibility apps that make every day living easier for him:
“Grocery store apps make it possible to shop without help. Whether it’s in-store pickup or at-home delivery, I can run through a shopping list in a matter of minutes. No spending hours at the store negotiating with customer service for aid; no need to teach shopping assistants how to read expiration dates or package breakables properly.”
How mobile accessibility apps work
Voiceover on Apple devices and Talkback on Android devices speak directly to their users. They are built-in screen readers which accurately represent to the ears what other users see with their eyes.
Compatibility is an ongoing challenge as developers and users work together to provide accessible user interfaces. Despite some persistent bugs and design misconceptions, accessibility features make devices usable for people with sight-related and other types of disabilities.
The future is bright
The only limit to what we can do to leverage apps for accessibility inclusion is the bounds of our imagination. With innovative technologies emerging every day, it is possible that one day there will no longer be a functional difference between blindness and sight.
It’s important to not only focus on how specialized apps can be developed to solve accessibility challenges, but also ways we can incorporate accessibility features into mainstream apps so that everyone can use them. Sometimes all that’s needed is a refreshed design with the user in mind.
If you’d like to learn more about how the Accessibility Team at WeCo can help make your mobile app, website or software project accessible, check out our services, or email us directly at: [email protected]
We are excited to bring our real-life user experience to your project’s accessible advantage.
Additional reading on mobile accessibility and inclusion:
Mobile Device Accessibility Technical Guidance
WeCo’s past webinars include many topics for free learning like mobile accessibility: Recorded Free Accessibility Webinars