Gian Wild

Mobile accessibility: testing mobile sites and native apps for accessibility

Gian Wild CEO AccessibilityOz

Gian Wild is the CEO of AccessibilityOz, with offices in the United States, Europe and Australia. She has worked in accessibility industry since 1998, when she worked on the very first Australian accessible web site. Her major achievements include: six years’ active membership in the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group contributing to WCAG2; her speech on the importance of web accessibility at the United Nations Conference of State Parties in 2015; and the release of the ICT Mobile Site Accessibility Testing Guidelines as the Mobile Sub-Committee Chair of the ICT Accessibility Testing Symposium.

In 2019 Gian won the inaugural Accessibility Person of the Year. Gian speaks at conferences in Australia, US, Canada, South America and Europe.

Mobile accessibility: testing mobile sites and native apps for accessibility

Unfortunately, when developing WCAG2, the Working Group did not envision the current world where mobile is almost ubiquitous. For example, on a mobile device there is no continual access to a keyboard (unless someone is using it as an add-on to the device – or using a Blackberry Classic). WCAG2 requires that all content be accessible to the keyboard interface, but it does not require that all content be accessible to a mouse or to a touchscreen user – which is essential on a mobile device. WCAG2.1 does include some mobile accessibility requirements, but doesn’t go far enough.

Gian Wild chaired the Mobile Site Sub-Committee to develop a set of Mobile Site Testing Guidelines that are available under Creative Commons. These guidelines are meant to be used in conjunction with WCAG2 (and WCAG2.1) to ensure that sites are accessible to people with disabilities using mobile and tablet devices.

Accessibility is important to all – not everyone using your mobile app, device or wearable will be fully functioning: either because they have a disability or they are simply engaged elsewhere. Gian Wild talks about the things that are essential to avoid when designing mobile apps, devices and wearables to ensure that everyone can use them. She talks about specific mobile accessibility features: pinch zoom, native screen readers, haptic keyboard etc, and system accessibility settings: font size, screen rotation, high contrast etc

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