The Australian Communications Consumer Action network (ACCAN) is pleased to announce the 2015 Apps For All Challenge, sponsored by Telstra.
Every minute 47,000 apps are downloaded worldwide, but millions of Australians may be missing out on the digital revolution if apps are not accessible.
The Apps For All Challenge is back in 2015 to award the outstanding apps which are accessible to all Australians.
An accessible app is designed with the largest number of people in mind – including people with disability and older Australians. Accessibility is not only crucial for the almost 1 in 5 Australians living with some form of disability, but it also means developers can target millions more customers who were previously locked out of the app market.
In honouring Australia's most accessible apps, the Apps For All Challenge will raise awareness and encourage Australian developers to be world leaders in accessible mobile technology. The winning apps will be announced at the ACCAN National Conference in September 2015.
Winners in each category will receive a cash prize from Telstra and promotion through Telstra social media.
Nominations will be accepted in the following categories:
- Most accessible mainstream app
- Most innovative app designed for people with disability or older Australians
- Most accessible children's app
- Most accessible game app
What exactly makes an app accessible?
Accessibility means that an app can be used by the most people possible without the need for modification. Many people have, or develop with age, impairments related to vision, hearing, cognition or mobility. Apps which address these needs in their design and operation are more accessible than apps which do not have any consideration for users' differing abilities.
For example, if an app uses video, the video should have captions for people who are Deaf or hearing impaired. For users who are blind or vision impaired, control buttons should include an "alt tag" to alert users of the button's purpose.
Apps incorporating the following features will be reviewed more favourably:
- Ease of use – including ease of download and installation
- Market gap – apps which fill a market gap for one or more user groups
- Value for money – apps which provide good value for money and do not require people with disability to pay more for the same functionality
- Universal design – the app is accessible across all user groups
- Availability – available across multiple operating systems
Accessibility guidelines for developers
- World Wide Web Consortium's mobile accessibility guidelines: http://www.w3.org/WAI/mobile/
- Apple accessibility guidelines: https://developer.apple.com/accessibility/
- Android accessibility guidelines: http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/ui/accessibility/index.html
Things to remember
- Only Australian developed apps are eligible
- An app can only be nominated for one category
- Nominated apps must be designed for one or more of the following mobile operating systems; iOS, Android, Windows
- Existing apps can be nominated
- The nominated apps will be evaluated by an independent panel of Australian accessibility experts. The panel will shortlist the best three apps in each category, with the winning apps announced at the ACCAN National Conference in September 2015
- Nominated apps should conform to ACCAN's values and vision
How to nominate an App