Information for Developers on how to Build Accessible iOS, iPadOS, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV Apps

Apple products offer a range of built-in vision accessibility features such as VoiceOver, Zoom, and braille Screen Input. Information on the full range of vision features across all Apple's platforms is available on their accessibility portal.

VoiceOver is a text to speech screen reader that enables people to experience the interface on their devices without having to see the screen. People who are blind depend on VoiceOver to provide auditory feedback while using their macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS devices.

Often with only a few steps, an app can be made VoiceOver-accessible in Xcode or programmatically. By increasing accessibility, developers open their app to a wider audience, and make it easier for everyone to use.

Apple provides a guide for developers on how to make their applications accessible: https://developer.apple.com/accessibility/

Useful Resources

  1. Mobile A11y is a collection of blogs and resources about how mobile developers can improve accessibility on mobile devices.
  2. “How to build apps for everyone using VoiceOver on iOS”, by Jayven N
  3. “Accessibility element: How to develop accessible iOS apps”, by Jeroen de Vrind
  4. “Checklist: How to make your iOS app more accessible: Quick and easy accessibility changes you can make today”, by Paul Hudson.
  5. “Building Accessible iOS Apps: How to Avoid Common Accessibility Issues in iOS apps”, by Rob Whitaker
  6. “Supporting accessibility in iOS applications”, by İrem Karaoğlu
  7. “iOS Accessibility: Getting Started: Learn How to Make Apps More Accessible Using VoiceOver and the Accessibility Inspector”, by Fayyazuddin Syed
  8. Bas' Blog features a number of posts for developers on getting started with accessibility and improving the accessibility experience for app users.
  9. Google Scanner for A11y (GSCXScanner) - a developer assistant that sits in an iOS app's process scanning it for accessibility issues to catch them before the developer even writes a test for them: https://github.com/google/GSCXScanner
  10. “Tips for Taking Full Advantage of VoiceOver in Your App”, a guide about a "magic tap" gesture that only VoiceOver users can activate by Alex Hall
  11. Lysette Chaproniere has created a comprehensive AppleVis Guide for iOS app developers on “Taking Your Accessibility from Good to Great”
  12. Darrell Shandrow Hilliker has created a comprehensive AppleVis Guide for app developers and educators on “Teaching and Testing iOS App VoiceOver Accessibility”
  13. The AppleVis Forum contains a dedicated area for app developers to seek and share information on accessible app development.

Some developers have written online about the experience of making their apps accessible:

Please use the contact form on this site if you need more information, would like to submit your app for testing and evaluation or know of any additional resources that should be added to this page.