Mobile Screen Reader Testing

I read a blog recently which I thought might be useful for people interested in mobile accessibility testing.

Have you tried mobile screen reader testing? Is there anything you’d agree or disagree with from the article?

Some of my observations of VoiceOver in iOS:

  • check the values of the options of VoiceOver before using them. Some options have multiple values. This has a direct impact on the screen reader testing.
  • check whether everything is read aloud. E.g. watch for text containing embedded text. Are both read aloud?
  • check whether (invisible) visual descriptions of images contain useful information.
  • check whether the right language is spoken. Before the test make sure that the right dictonaries have been downloaded. E.g. what happens, if I let VoiceOver read English text aloud in an application with the language set to Dutch? After I set the system language to German, what will happen to VoiceOver reading English text in a app set to Dutch?
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Our product does surprisingly get used by people with vision issues, which totally surprised me. So… I tried using a voice over app, and it was just going to take forever not just to get used to, but also to run through. Mostly I found the dissonance of the reader saying things totally out of any order that I could follow, that it felt like raising bugs to get it fixed was going to take have an actual blind person in the room, getting paid, to run tests. I’m waiting for bigger govt. contract customers, because those might get more action.
My fear is that every time we add a new feature, that we effectively make the feature inaccessible to the very people I am, of late more keen to assist.

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I feel the article is a very good starting point when it comes to accessibility testing on mobile apps.

Having predominantly developed and tested for accessibility in mobile apps, I personally feel that guidelines for accessibility in mobile is very hard to collate.

WCAG guidelines are great for web. But when it comes to mobile apps, there isn’t a single source that we could rely on. We had to come up with our own requirements and checklists based on WCAG but with mobile apps in mind.

I’d love to know how others deal with accessibility requirements for mobile apps. Ta


Definitely second that, a WCAG standard for mobile needs writing by someone who knows where the value in the ecosystem lies. In our app, I have no “user” web UI at all, but I found WCAG was a good place to start to think about mobile accessibility for mobile. I would gladly help review if there was one.

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