I am proposing that, as part of accessibility advocacy work with iOS app developers, we provide an easy-to-follow test plan that will, at least in the vast majority of cases, result in an accessible app for people who are blind or have low vision.
I am asking for constructive feedback from Apple vis users on how I may improve this testing plan.
Please keep in mind that we want such a plan to be a simple and effective way for us to test the nonvisual accessibility of apps and to encourage app developers to perform accessibility testing and correct the accessibility bugs they find.
The purpose of this plan is to effectively test the accessibility of an iOS app with Apple's built-in VoiceOver for blind and low-vision users.
1. Make sure VoiceOver is turned on for all testing. VoiceOver may be enabled in Settings > General > Accessibility > VoiceOver on any iOS device. It is also strongly recommended to triple tap the screen with three fingers to enable the Screen Curtain. This feature blanks out the screen, resulting in a more realistic environment for nonvisual accessibility testing.
2. Open the app.
3. Tap the top of the screen with four fingers.
4. Flick to the right through all elements on the app's home screen.
A. Are all controls labeled in a way that makes sense when you listen to VoiceOver without looking at the screen? Make detailed notes of anything that does not make sense. This applies to maps and any other elements that may require special consideration in order to provide equal accessibility.
B. Are you able to choose all buttons and other appropriate controls by double tapping them as you hear them read by VoiceOver? In other words, if a sighted person would choose an element by tapping, does it operate correctly if double tapped by a VoiceOver user? Make detailed notes of any situations where a control does not function as expected when double tapped.
C. Are all elements available to VoiceOver? Pay special attention to anything that is skipped (not heard at all) while flicking. Make detailed notes of any skipped elements.
5. Flick to the left through the same home screen. Make detailed notes of anything that does not seem to function as expected with VoiceOver enabled.
6. Tap the top of the screen with four fingers.
7. Flick to the right, one element at a time, and double tap the first item where choosing it should lead to another screen.
8. Repeat steps 3 through 5 on every screen the app contains, testing and noting any issues found with all elements.
9. Using the notes obtained from testing, make all bug fixes necessary to deliver a fully accessible experience for users who rely on VoiceOver.
10. Check your work using blind alpha testers, followed by a select group of beta testers from the blind community.