Accessible app challenge announced

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Friday, 16 August 2013 16:50pm

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Australian Human Rights Commission have announced an accessible app challenge called Apps For All at this week’s M-Enabling Australasia 2013 Conference. 

Apps For All challenges developers to create mobile or tablet apps which can be accessed by as many people as possible, including people with disabilities.

Announced by Johanna Plante, Chairperson of ACCAN, and Graeme Innes, Disability Discrimination Commissioner, the focus of the challenge is to raise awareness about the universal benefits of accessible apps.

“The Apps For All challenge will not only highlight why accessibility is so important, but trigger a flood of innovative and groundbreaking ideas around how apps and technologies can truly benefit all,” saidPlante.

Award categories include:

  1. The most accessible mainstream app
  2. The most innovative app designed for people with a disability
  3. The most accessible children’s app
  4. The most accessible games app

ACCAN defines an accessible app as “one which has been designed from the ground up to cater to all consumers”. On mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, accessible apps are those that work with accessibility features such as screen readers or screen magnification. For example, an app becomes accessible to blind and vision impaired users on Apple devices if it works with the inbuilt screen reader VoiceOver. VoiceOver enables blind and vision impaired users to navigate the device through audible feedback.

Similarly, an accessible app may have built-in options for adjusting colour contrast or text size. For apps that have videos, the inclusion of captions is essential for providing access to the content to Deaf or hearing impaired users.

The competition is sponsored by the Australian Human Rights Commission, and Graeme Innes will also be assessing competition entries as a judge.

“I’m looking forward to congratulating businesses that develop apps that are available for everyone,” Innes said.

The Apps For All competition deadlines and judging panel of accessibility and technology experts will be announced later this year. 

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