Mobile Accessibility

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Mobile Accessibility [Draft updates]

Page Contents
* Introduction
* W3C WAI Addresses Mobile Accessibility
* Mobile and Accessibility Overlap
* More Guidance Coming
* Get Involved
* Get Updates
* About W3C and WAI


"Mobile accessibility" generally refers to making websites and applications more accessible to people with disabilities when they are using mobile phones. WAI's work in this area includes people using a broad range of devices: phones, tablets, TVs, and much more.

This page summarizes existing and developing resources related to mobile accessibility. There are not separate guidelines for mobile accessibility — it is covered in existing guidelines (particularly WCAG and UAAG, which are introduced below). We plan to provide more guidance on applying WCAG and UAAG in the mobile context. WAI is a community effort and we welcome your participation.

W3C WAI Addresses Mobile Accessibility

WAI's accessibility guidelines address mobile accessibility:

  • WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) covers web pages and web applications, including content used on mobile devices. For an introduction to the WCAG documents, see the WCAG Overview. To learn how WCAG relates to Mobile Web Best Practices, see Shared Web Experiences.
  • UAAG 2.0 (User Agent Accessibility Guidelines) covers web browsers and other 'user agents', including mobile browsers. For general information on UAAG, see the UAAG Overview. Specific information related to mobile will be available in September. {@@Applying UAAG to Mobile to be polished as a WAI page}
  • ATAG 2.0 (Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines) covers software used to create web pages and applications. For information on ATAG, see the ATAG Overview.

WAI is working to enhance technologies for mobile accessibility, including:

  • IndieUI (Independent User Interface) is a way for user actions to be communicated to web applications, including mobile applications. This will make it easier for applications to work with a wide range of devices, including assistive technologies. See the IndieUI Overview.
  • WAI-ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) defines a way to make web content more accessible, especially dynamic content and advanced user interface controls. It applies to web applications and to accessing websites with mobile devices. See the WAI-ARIA Overview.

W3C addresses mobile accessibility. WAI ensures that the core W3C technologies support accessibility, including those that are essential for the mobile web. All W3C work is reviewed for accessibility by WAI's Protocols and Formats Working Group (PFWG). W3C work on mobile includes:

Mobile and Accessibility Overlap

Most of this page addresses people with disabilities using mobile devices. We also have related resources that address situations such as: a web development project wants to make their websites and web applications work better for all mobile users (including those without disabilities) and also work better for users with disabilities using "traditional" computers.

More Guidance Coming

WAI is currently working on:

  • Guidance for developers - This may be WCAG Techniques for Mobile Application, or a Guide on Applying WCAG and UAAG in the Mobile Environment. To share your ideas on what would be helpful, please send e-mail with Subject: mobile accessibility suggestion to either:
  • WCAG2ICT Applying WCAG 2.0 to Non-Web Information and Communications Technologies @@- native mobile apps are covered in this document as 'software aspects of products'.
  • A Mobile Accessibility Research Report based on the Mobile Accessibility Symposium in June 2012.
  • Accessibility Support Database that will provide information on accessibility support in web technologies, including mobile devices and mobile platforms.

Get Involved

If you would like to be more involved in WAI's work on mobile accessibility, please send an e-mail with a little about your interests and time availability to with Subject: mobile accessibility volunteer

Get Updates

If you would like to get notification of future work on mobile accessibility at W3C WAI, see Getting WAI Announcements.

About W3C and WAI

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. To learn more, see About W3C.

W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) brings together individuals and organizations from around the world to develop strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities. To learn more, see the WAI website.

Review comments


here is a template for comment formatting:

  • ...comment {name}

[old notes] URIs

I welcome other suggestions for that new URI - other brainstorms:

  • /WAI/mobile/solutions.html
  • /WAI/mobile/2goals.html
  • /WAI/mobile/similar.html
  • /WAI/mobile/both.html
  • /WAI/mobile/and_accessibility.html
  • /WAI/mobile/case.html

Note: "Shared Web Experiences: Barriers Common to Mobile Device Users and People with Disabilities" is at: