Building accessible mobile technology is becoming more and more a topic of discussion and with good reason. The world is affected by disability; if you do not have any form of a disability then it is likely you know someone who does, so this is a topic that comes very close to home for many of us. As the number of people connecting through the internet grows and people begin to share more and more it become easier to see that even if you don’t have anyone in your life affected by disability, you need only look a short distance to find thousands of stories about how much people care about one another and how awareness can spread, this is the beauty of the internet, and to take this power and harness it for good is forward thinking.
Apple is undoubtedly the leader in accessibility on mobile platforms. Many visually impaired users say that Apple is unmatched at the moment in this regard. One only needs to look at Siri or the iPhone’s voice control options to begin to comprehend the steps taken and with more of Apple’s third party Apps striving to bring themselves up to the bar of Apple’s accessibility standards. Just being in the App store is driving developers to consider wider access.
This is a great accomplishment to say the least. If this is the future of development across multi platforms, as we have seen with things like the accessibility features of the Microsoft Surface, which have given a boost and Microsoft is collaborating with others to unlock the full potential of that device. We need make sure there is not a demographic left out, but where we always have the mindset in development that accessibility is integral, it is the lifeblood of our industry and of the future.
The internet is still inaccessible to a large portion of the world just due to the troubles of lines not reaching far enough. These wires that are necessary to connect until we can active the global wireless network. With such a thing in the future shouldn’t access for all be one of the top concerns of this innovation?
The recent discussions that have been going on across the internet on the #A11Y is interesting because with a hashtag comes internet awareness. If you agree with the A11Y hashtag or not, it looks as though it has been embraced and is becoming part of the internet culture. With awareness and discussions abounding I believe right now is a very important moment in our history, and that it will be seen as a turning point towards access for all. Perhaps not today or this year, but soon, and with the strides that are continuing to be taken it’s not too far around the river bend.