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Salako Oluwaseun
Salako Oluwaseun

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Apps for Everyone in Flutter

Accessibility

For your mobile app to be successful, you need to make sure that it can reach the widest possible audience.​
When more people have access to your app, it will boost your download rates and ultimately increase your total profits.​
But in order for your app to reach everyone, it has to be accessible. So what exactly is mobile accessibility?​
According to the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), it means that you’re making your mobile app more accessible to users with disabilities.

Approximately 15% of the world's population lives with some forms of disability.

Who needs an accessible Mobile app?
As I previously stated, accessible mobile applications are for people with disabilities.

Forms of Disability

  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Mobility
  • Literacy

Vision Disability
Users coping with some kind of visual impairment experience the most difficulty using a mobile application that is not adapted to them. Color blindness, vision loss, or even complete blindness are three major impairments.

An estimated 253 million people live with vision impairment: 36 million are blind and 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment here...

Color Blindness

Challenges

  • Not being able to differentiate between colors.
  • Affects 8% of male population, 0.5% women.

How to help

  • Use Color and Icons to convey messages.
  • Options to change color.
  • Large fonts

Vision loss

Not being able to see anything.

How to help
Screen readers can be made available in the app
TalkBAck(Android), and VoiceOver(iOS) are screen readers provided by Android and iOS mobile platforms.
Screen Readers for other platforms.

Mobile Browsers:

  • iOS - VoiceOver
  • Android - TalkBack

Desktop Browsers

  • MacOS - VoiceOver
  • Windows - JAWs & NVDA

Flutter’s standard widgets generate an accessibility tree automatically. However, if your app needs something different, it can be customized using the Semantics widget.

Hearing Disability

Whether a user is deaf, has minor hearing impairment or has difficulties hearing sounds within a certain range.

How to help
Videos and sound clips can be enhanced with optional transcriptions or captions.

Mobility Disability

People that have physical motor limitations might encounter problems while navigating a mobile application. Tapping or other forms of gestures need to be configurable so that a user is not bound to a specific gesture.

How to help

  • Tapping or other forms of gestures need to be configurable so that a user is not bound to a specific gesture.
  • Also, a gesture should never be a mandatory event since physical motor limitations should not restrict the navigational behavior of an app.

Both Android and iOS offer users the ability to configure shortcuts for frequently used phrases or words, as well as timing between presses on the screen. The size of buttons (or other touchable triggers in apps) are also configurable.

Literacy Disability

An often overlooked aspect of accessibility is accessibility for people with a learning disadvantage, like (functional) illiteracy, (functional) innumeracy, and digital illiteracy.

How to help
Apps can better serve these users by using simple, short sentences, supported by clear, culturally recognizable iconography. Voice feedback is also an option.

Conclusion

Reaching a larger audience with your apps is not just about targeting as many platforms as possible (mobile, web, desktop) but also about making them accessible for everyone, including those with temporary or permanent disabilities. Native platforms already provide accessibility mechanisms, and thankfully, Flutter does too!

Learn more about Accessibility

To learn more about flutter head to flutter.dev

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