ABC to improve app accessibility

Friday, 14 June 2013 15:17pm

The ABC has agreed to make its main mobile app accessible after complaints made to the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation app for iPhone and iPad is one of Australia’s most downloaded media and entertainment apps and acts as portal to content from across the ABC. Through it, users can read and watch the news, listen to over 25 radio stations, and watch selected catch-up TV.

Innes, who is blind, found the app was not compatible with the iPhone’s screen reader VoiceOver, which converts text to audio feedback. Innes found that many of buttons were unlabeled while the news articles were completely inaccessible.

Blind and vision impaired users were able to use the app without issue until an update in March.

"This shows a lack of commitment from senior management," said Innes. "The ABC claims to be committed to accessibility, while sending their products backwards."

A spokesperson for the ABC told Australian Associated Press that an improved app is scheduled to be released in July. The ABC has already improved its radio app which received similar accessibility complaints.

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