Get familiar with the integration of user-agents and assistive technologies with mobile devices and applications

There is an important distinction between mainstream user agents and assistive technologies. User agents provide some features to assist individuals, including people with and without disabilities. Assistive devices target narrowly defined populations of users with specific disabilities. Ensure that your application allows integration with the highest number of the available assistive technologies:

  • Screen magnifiers
  • Screen readers (e.g. TalkBack, VoiceOver)
  • Text-to-speech software (TTS)
  • Speech recognition software
  • Alternative keyboards
  • Alternative pointing devices
  • Gaze-control commands
  • Voice commands
  • Custom controllers

To ensure contents are accessible with assistive devices, the WAI-ARIA working group which is part of the W3C Consortium, created the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite. The ARIA suite defines a way to make Web content and Web applications more accessible to people with disabilities. It especially helps with dynamic content and advanced user interface controls developed with HTML, JavaScript, and related technologies. Without WAI-ARIA certain functionality used in websites are not available to users with impairments, especially people who rely on screen readers and people who cannot use a mouse.