RESOLUTION 2011-19

Apple iOS Application Accessibility

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-19

SUMMARY:

1. This organization strongly encourages Apple to take the following steps that would incentivize iOS app developers to make their apps fully accessible: 1) Create a rating system that provides a consistent method of measuring the accessibility of apps which could be applied across all iOS apps; 2) Create a category of accessible apps in the iOS App Store that would make the discoverability of accessible apps easier and that would highlight app developers who have made concerted efforts to achieve accessibility; 3) Create a specific category for accessibility to be used when Apple awards app developers for "best of" design; and 4) Take additional steps to make available tools and documentation to developers whose apps are currently not accessible.

2. This organization will take all appropriate steps to work with Apple's management to implement the outcomes of this resolution.

3. This organization will make available to Apple the assistance of the ACB Information Access Committee.

WHEREAS, through the implementation of the iOS operating system, Apple has created a successful ecosystem of hundreds of thousands of apps that fall in categories such as navigation, productivity, entertainment, education, news, and social networking; and

WHEREAS, many of the apps in the iOS ecosystem have the capacity to increase the independence of people who are blind and visually impaired by providing information about their environments that has not been readily available until now; and

WHEREAS, a majority of the apps in the iOS ecosystem are not currently accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired who must rely on assistive technologies; and

WHEREAS, Apple has made available human interface design guidelines and testing tools that could make many of the apps accessible and usable by people who are blind or visually impaired who use built-in accessibility features like Voiceover and Zoom; and

WHEREAS, ways must be found to encourage more iOS app developers to follow these guidelines;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the 15th day of July, 2011, that this organization strongly encourage Apple to take the following steps that would incentivize iOS app developers to make their apps fully accessible:

1. Create a rating system that provides a consistent method of measuring the accessibility of apps which could be applied across all iOS apps;

2. Create a category of accessible apps in the iOS App Store that would make the discoverability of accessible apps easier and that would highlight app developers who have made concerted efforts to achieve accessibility;

3. Create a specific category for accessibility to be used when Apple awards app developers for "best of" design;

4. Take additional steps to make available tools and documentation to developers whose apps are currently not accessible; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the officers, directors, and staff of this organization take all appropriate steps to work with Apple's management to implement the outcomes of this resolution; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization make available to Apple the assistance of the ACB Information Access Committee.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary