Brussels / 31 January & 1 February 2015


Reaching more users through better accessibility

Using Firefox OS to test your apps for better accessibility and usability of your mobile web application

In this hands-on presentation, Marco will demonstrate how to use the screen reader built into Firefox OS and other tools to help create more usable, more accessible web applications. Such applications have a much better chance of reaching a broader audience. In addition, they will help developers to write more semantic and more maintainable code.

About 20% of the population world-wide have a disability. Disabilities include blindness or visual impairment, deaf or hard of hearing, people with motor impairments, people with dyslexia, and others. For years, there have been assistive technologies such as screen readers for the blind, magnifiers for visually impaired, subtitles or sign language captionings for videos, switches or other assistive devices for people with motor impairments, and many more to help those 20 % come onto the web and participate just as their non-disabled friends and family members do.

In addition, the demographic development suggests that by the year 2030, half the population in Europe, the U.S. and Canada will be age 60 and older. Those commonly called "silver surfers" will also benefit from bigger touch targets, better contrast and other usability techniques traditionally associated with accessibility, even when they do not have any disability themselves at all.

As mobile devices spread throughout the world, and Firefox OS sets new standards in affordability and availability in many countries that did not have access to smartphones before, it is more and more important that web applications offered on those devices are usable by the broadest range of users possible.

This presentation aims to provide some basic easy checks and testing techniques to help you as a developer of a mobile web application to apply good programming practices so your app can reach more users than you ever thought possible. Marco will show how you can use a Firefox OS device and Firefox itself to do these easy checks and take good techniques home to put to use straight away.


Marco Zehe