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Mobile Accessibility with WCAG 2.0

[Approximate Reading Time : 4 mins]

What Is Mobile Accessibility?

Mobile devices include all the digital devices that are carried by people—phones, tablets, smartwatches, devices in cars, and appliances that use the internet. Mobile accessibility is not given particular attention in WCAG 2.0 but is covered under guidelines for websites and applications. WCAG 2.0 is the globally followed standard for accessibility, which a website is legally required to comply with.

The internet is used more on mobile devices than desktops. People with disabilities depend on such devices to perform daily tasks. Mobile accessibility does not mean that a website can just be displayed in mobile view. The website has to also offer a seamless experience to everyone, with options to make it easier to use and navigate.

Why Is Mobile Accessibility Important?

Search engines favor mobile-friendly sites, and the number of people who use accessibility settings is increasing.

People with disabilities, senior users, and people with temporary disabilities or a poor environment can use the website comfortably using the tools they are accustomed to. They can function and communicate more independently for an extended period with an improved quality of life and self-respect.

Increase in market reach, as the website or application can be used by a larger population. If a website is not accessible, the user might move to another site that is. Easy operations help in retaining customers.

Access to information and services without discrimination is a civil right. Compliance with WCAG 2.0 makes the website immune to lawsuits, thus saving litigation fees and fines.

Brand reputation gets a positive outlook. An inclusive experience in websites is highly appreciated by followers.

How Can Mobile Accessibility Be Achieved?

Web designers have to make sure that the website is perceivable, operable, and understandable even with the use of assistive technologies.

Perceivable: The screen size is smaller in mobile devices. So, allow users to adjust the font size without assistive technology to 200 percent. The pinch-to-zoom tool must not be disabled. Good color contrast that is adjustable is necessary to make the text stand out. Content must not be reduced to fit mobile devices.

Operable: The onscreen keypad must be legible, with big touch targets and enough inactive space between them. Simplify touchscreen gestures. Allow the use of an external keyboard and mouse for convenience. Onscreen indicators must be present. Place buttons at an easily accessible place. Concentrate on flexible use rather than one-hand use.

Understandable: Screen orientation—portrait or landscape—must be interchangeable. The repeating components of a web page must be at a consistent place for ease of access and navigation. Limit the content that is displayed at a time without scrolling. Group elements with the same action under a single actionable element. Distinguish actionable and nonactionable elements well. Provide explanations for instructions. Provide easy ways to enter data.

Accessibility must be built into the site from the design stage and tested manually and with automated tools before launch.Amnet is a Benetech-certified accessibility vendor offering services in conformance with ADA, WCAG 2.1, and Section 508.

Sources
1. https://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-accessibility-mapping/
2. https://www.microassist.com/digital-accessibility/why-make-your-mobile-website-accessible/.
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