App Accessibility Audits (Mobile and Desktop) Services

Accessible.org offers reasonably priced WCAG 2.1 AA audits for mobile and desktop apps.  I’ve contracted with a contributor to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to provide manual audit services.

Mobile app accessibility can be just as important as websites, especially as mobile device usage continues to increase in 2021.  Although websites get most of the attention, access to apps is critical for everyone.   And taking care of app accessibility now has the added bonus of preventing unwanted litigation time, money, and energy expenditures.

If you’re seeking a comprehensive accessibility service (with much more than just an audit), I recommend Essential Accessibility (I’m the CAO & CLO at eA).  Essential’s integrated platform and Accessibility-As-A-Service approach is a done-for-you (DFY) solution (with tech support in place of remediation) that provides tremendous value.

Mitigate Legal Risk

The two most important steps for reducing your risk of ADA, California Unruh Act, or New York State / City Human Rights Law litigation are:

  1. Contract with an independent, third-party provider who specializes in accessibility to conduct an audit.
  2. Remediate your app to address all accessibility issues discovered in the audit.

At your option, you may want a re-audit to check and make sure no issues remain after remediation.

For mobile apps, it’s important to get a WCAG 2.1 AA audit (as opposed to 2.0 AA) because 2.1 addresses a handful of mobile specific issues that will be critical to check and account for.

If you’d like certification of accessibility, a statement of conformance can be provided.

WCAG 2.2 AA

As a best practice, you may want to make your application 2.2 AA conformant.  This is a cutting edge approach because WCAG 2.2 hasn’t even been officially released yet – so the success criteria are still in draft mode.

But there’s really now downside to implementing the newly drafted success criteria.

WCAG 2.2 AA is expected to be released in mid 2021 so this is an entirely proactive measure but one I like and recommend to forward thinking organizations.

Cost

The cost of services depends primarily on

  • How much work is to be done (the number of screens)
  • The complexity or difficulty of the work.
  • The current state of accessibility of the app or software

Compliance

With legal compliance, primarily we think of mobile apps but, of course, when it comes to web accessibility desktop apps are implicated as well.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 are the laws you’d typically think of when you think of when it comes to web accessibility.  Entities that fall under Section 504 will also need to make their applications accessible.

Of course, this is just speaking to United States compliance.  There are international laws that require digital accessibility as well.  The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

There was an uptick in mobile app accessibility lawsuits in Q4 of 2020 so in 2021, it’s a diligent business decision for multiple reasons to make your app accessible.