IBM Mobile Accessibility Checker Built for iOS, Android
The platform helps developers identify and correct usability issues early in development to deliver an optimized customer mobile experience.Researchers at IBM have created a new tool designed to make Apple iOS and Google Android mobile applications more accessible to the elderly and users who are vision- and hearing-impaired. The new Mobile Accessibility Checker is an automated test to help strengthen the accessibility features of mobile applications as they are being built. It is available as a service or software component from IBM. Mobile Accessibility Checker helps developers identify and correct usability issues early in development to deliver an optimized customer mobile experience. The estimated base of impaired users worldwide is more than 1 billion. The tool automatically alerts developers to accessibility breaches, such as color contrasting and keyboard navigation and focus, and recommends corrections that adhere to industry standards and government regulations. "We are constantly evaluating ways to efficiently ensure that any customer, citizen or employee mobile application achieves the highest levels of accessibility and usability," Francis West, IBM’s chief accessibility officer, told eWEEK. "With mobile, the development cycle is much shorter compared to software development that designers and developers ignore, or in most cases, are unaware of basic accessibility conformance requirements - such as color contrast or ensuring they work with screen readers. Mobile Accessibility Checker ensures that accessibility is done right from the start."
West explained that current accessibility tools can only check for one breach element at a time and do not account for individuals with poor vision, so the contrast is not adjusted.