Native Mobile Accessibility

Accessibility involves providing all of your users with a consistent experience regardless of their abilities. This requires designing for users with disabilities so they can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with interfaces - both physical and digital. I was first introduced to Accessibility when exploring the Settings menu on my iPhone. It was after using a few of the features that I realized how the iPhone highlights the abilities in all people. Since then, I've been following WAI-Aria for my websites, volunteer to help the disabled community and have explored the world of native mobile accessibility.

Diversity of Abilities



Physical and Motor

Learning and Literacy

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Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG)

WCAG 2.0 is a sereies of guidlines publised by the W3C that covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. The goal of WCAG is to create a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.

W3C WAI Mobile Accessibility Task Force: How WCAG 2.0 applies to Mobile

The W3C syas that mobile accessibility is covered in existing W3C WAI accessibility standards/guidelines, particularly WCAG and UAAG, which are introduced below. There are not separate guidelines for mobile accessibility. The mobile accessiblity task force is developing more specifc and updated guidance on mobile accessibility.

AQuA Accessibility Testing Criteria

The App Quality Alliance has created a set of Accessibility Testing Criteria intended to be used to check the accessibility of an application for users with limitations in one or more categories of vision, hearing, speech, dexterity and cognition on Android, iOS and Windows Devices.

Funka's Guidelines for the Development of Accessible Mobile Interfaces and Navigation

The project was based on our Guidelines for the Development of Accessible Mobile Interfaces that were developed in a project funded by The Swedish Internet Fund. These guidelines have been widely adopted internationally and translated into several languages.

BBC Standards and Guidelines for Mobile Accessibility

The BBC Standards and Guidelines for Mobile Accessibility are a set of technology agnostic best practices for mobile web content, hybrid and native apps. The tools is split up for User Expereience, Developers, Editors and Resources.

United States

Formatting Content

Create a layout that fits the screen of an iOS device. Users should see primary content without zooming or scrolling horizontally.

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Touch Controls

Use UI elements that are designed for touch gestures to make interaction with your app feel easy and natural.

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Hit Targets

Create controls that measure at least 44 points x 44 points so they can be accurately tapped with a finger.

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Text Size

Text should be at least 11 points so it's legible at a typical viewing distance without zooming.

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Make sure there is ample contrast between the font color and the background so text is legible.

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Don't let text overlap. Improve legibility by increasing line height or letter spacing.

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High Resolution

Provide high-resolution versions of all image assets. Images that are not @2x and @3x will appear blurry on the Retina display.

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Always display images at their intended aspect ratio to avoid distortion.

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Create an easy-to-read layout that puts controls close to the content they modify.

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Align text, images, and buttons to show users how information is related.

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Additional Design Resources

View video presentations and guides for designing great apps.

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