Accessibility assistance required




We have recently had a lady tell us that our web app is hard to use for her as she is blind and uses the built in iPhone ‘VoiceOver’ functionality to navigate around. I turned this on and tried to use the site myself, I found a few obvious issues and know how to fix these however there are some aspects I am not sure how I could make it better for her without completely ruining the user experience, and design, for our non-visually impaired users.

Our app is built using quite old technology, but our front end uses Bootstrap, and semantic HTML5. I am very new to making websites accessible and am very much learning as I’m going along. I thought that by writing HTML semantically, and using bootstrap built in classes and ARIA attributes that the site would be fully accessible.

I have also run the site through WAVE and there were no issues reported there.

Does anyone have any advice for me, things to look out for, better ways to test the site etc.

Thanks in advance


hi @jacquidow
for my understanding is your app:

  • a native one
  • a hybrid app (html framed in a native container/viewer)
  • a responsive website


Hi, it’s none of the above!

It’s web app made of a mixture of .net 1.1, .net 4.0 pages. We have used the bootstrap framework for the UI.There is also heavy use of Javascript on many of the pages.

Does this help?



I guess the app can also be executed in desktop environment inside the environment in which it is developed, so there are tools that could be used as well (for instance, tools to check the color contrast, and so on) and also other supporting technologies like screen readers (we use Jaws

The pain point is that such tools only check stuff that a machine can detect.
In my experience is always needed a human to check what the machine cannot do.
For instance the “alt” attribute semantic value. One machine can detect if this attribute is present, but only one human can understand if the attribute content is valid in terms of accessibility.

I hope it will help


We previously tested the software using screen readers, it seems to be this particular built in iPhone functionality ‘VoiceOver’ which is causing the trouble. I’ve also ran the software through WAVE and it passed with flying colours, so I’m very much baffled!


is this issue raised by many users or is it coming from a specific one?


It’s one user but I don’t know how many visually impaired users we have. Our user base is 1.5 million active users.


In this case I would suggest, if is possible, to have a call with this user and try to mirroring her/him during the journey.
If you will be able to walk in her/his shoes will be easier to evaluate the accessibility level of the app.
At the end of the day, thanks to your evaluation, the product owner should be in charge to decide how much time and effort will be invested to solve the issue.

Every user counts, of course, and every decision should fit into a UX strategy




I will call her again, we have spoken to her once but I’m still struggling! [quote=“dopamino, post:9, topic:2080”]

What is UAU??


I can imagine how tough it is.
As I wrote before, the decision how to react on it should be taken by the product owner. Especially if is you don’t have any precise data about it. In my opinion if is a problem raised by one customer (on 1.5 mill

ion users) you should not invest too much time and effort on it. It also depends on your priorities, I guess your task pipeline is very long isn’t?

UAU is due to the fact that you’re working with 1.5 million active users!


It has become a bit of a personal mission of mine and the project managers to make this womans life easier.

Because of what the app does, the choice to use it is forced upon our users by an external party (sorry to be so cryptic), so at the moment this lady is having to get her friend to access the app on her behalf, which is not ideal and obviously is quite upsetting for her.

I left my phone in VoiceOver mode for an hour and almost pulled my hair out, it was so frustrating. I don’t know how visually impaired people do it, I have so much respect for them!


Utmost respect for you and your team mates.
I’m sure that, even if you will not fix the issue, you will learn a lot from this experience.
Good luck and if you can keep us posted on it :slight_smile: