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Mobile Web Accessibility With VoiceOver And TalkBack

taught by: Paul Adam

Session Summary

Bring your iPhone, iPad, or Android device and learn how to do accessibility testing without needing a desktop computer. We’ll cover mobile web accessibility testing and development for VoiceOver on iOS and TalkBack on Android.


Accessibility testers and developers spend most of their time using one or two screen readers on desktop computers and most stick to using JAWS or NVDA but mobile screen readers and web accessibility techniques are different than desktop accessibility. Increase your knowledge of web accessibility by learning how to test with and develop for mobile screen readers.

The first step to learning mobile web accessibility is to learn how to use and test web pages with a mobile screen reader like VoiceOver or TalkBack. Learn the screen reader for the mobile operating system that you prefer. Learn to test with the screen reader that’s in your pocket! If you’re an iPhone user then learn VoiceOver and be ready to pull out your iPhone and test a website on the spot. If you’re an Android phone user or prefer Android tablets then learn TalkBack and be ready to show developers what an inaccessible website looks like on your Android device. TalkBack even shows the screen reader speech output as text captions so you can take a screenshot of the problems.

There are differences in desktop vs mobile web accessibility development and testing that we’ll discuss and show in class. We’ll take the knowledge you have of traditional desktop web accessibility and learn how to apply to mobile and responsive websites.

Android and iOS screen readers work differently with the keyboard on mobile devices. iOS does not support traditional keyboard accessibility and operation but Android does. Android works like a desktop computer with full keyboard operation and navigation. To do keyboard accessibility testing with an Android device you need a Bluetooth Keyboard like the Apple Wireless Keyboard and then you can TAB key and Arrow Key navigate through mobile websites and operate them like a desktop keyboard. We’ll discuss those differences in VoiceOver and TalkBack for keyboard accessibility testing.

We’ll cover accessibility design and development techniques specific to mobile devices and discus the support and limitations with JavaScript and WAI-ARIA accessibility on mobile web.

HTML5, Responsive Web Design, <video> and <audio> and other mobile accessibility related topics will be covered.

Practical Skills

  • Desktop vs. Mobile Web Accessibility
  • iOS Accessibility Testing
  • Android Accessibility Testing

Presentation Materials