Seeking tips on effective communication with developer

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I never wrote to a developer about an inaccessible app before, but I want to start doing so.

I want to begin with Free Conference Call's Fcc-Dialer, which I reviewed here:

because it is usable but has several unlabeled buttons.

I want to be effective in this task, forceful but not whiny, and include links the developer can follow to guide them through correcting the issues.

Does Applevis already have a guide or blog post that explains how to do this in a solution-centric manner? If so where can I find it and if not, will one of you wizards create one, please?




Submitted by Michelle on Monday, June 27, 2016


I don't know of any guides, but we're software developers and our studio received a handful of emails about two or three years ago regarding accessibility. At the time we were working on a game that was based on an audio play series. The blind people who contacted us were fans of the audio plays and were hoping to be able to play the game as well.

I remember all emails to be very kindly written. The people were asking rather than demanding. The really helpful emails included links to audio games that we could check out to get an idea. It also showed us that there actually were games for the blind out there, and it showed us that there is an entire audience out there we never knew about. I remember one email even explained how speaking menus worked. And some offered their help in testing.

At the time, I had maybe heard the term "audio game" before, but that was the extent of my personal knowledge.

When you write to them, assume that they have no idea that blind people can use mobile devices at all. And at the same time, if you can be specific about what is inaccessible in their app (for example unlabeled buttons or similar), mention it.

If you have links to webpages on how to make apps accessible, include them. It might be a good idea to link to a general page on how to use VoiceOver as well. Chances are good they have never heard of it and certainly have never used it.

And - if there is a forum post about their app somewhere on this forum that lists it as partially or completely inaccessible, DEFINITELY include it. There is probably very little would give your email even more impact than that.

In this particular case, you have two points to get across:
1. There are blind people interested in their app
2. Their app is already almost there. It would only take a minimal amount of effort to make it fully accessible.

Submitted by Carlos Taylor on Monday, June 27, 2016

Near the bottom of every AppleVis page is a link called Developer Resources. It is a great link to send to developers, along with your own personalized description, as it gives a brief description of VoiceOver and links to Apple's developer pages that discuss creating accessible apps.