Positive Help Resource: What if Developers had a pool of beta testers?

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Accessibility Advocacy
When discussing accessibility to developers many have asked for help and pointers. When an app is in beta they are tested out by users privately before the app is submitted to Apple. As a very encouraging and positive way to advocate, how could we go about creating a pool of potential beta testers who are visually impaired or blind? What do you all think? To answer any questions here is clarification of what I am thinking: The pool would be allow the Developer to choose based on a best fit for the app. A listing could look something like this: John D. Age 45 IDevices: iPhone 4S, iPad 2 Interests: RPG, adventure games, music creation apps Work: Prepares Taxes Janet S. Age 20 iDevices: iPad 3 Interests: Knitting, Crafts, Writing, social networking Work: n/a Harvey G Age 65 iDevices: iPad (new), iPhone 5, iPod touch 4 Interests: History, Gardening, Science Work: Retired So what do you all think of this idea?

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Submitted by Stella on Friday, March 9, 2012

http://www.applevis.com/applevis-forum/app-development/blindlow-ios-marketing-research Is it active that anyone is aware of? Apparently joining had accessibility issues. :( I am thinking of keeping it simple really, I am not even sure age should be a factor- though if an app is meant for a certain age group it would be helpful- like AARP etc. Also what I am talking about is NOT for marketing. Only beta testing if a developer needs help.

That's an excelent idea. I think the information should also contain statements about proficiency in use of screenreader (maybe 1 novice to 10 expert), disabilities, and devices used for instance braille displays etc. And the data of course would have be searchable by criteria. I'm no techy, so don't know how easily this could be done. Oh and people who have signed up to be in the pool should be able to update their profiles when their situation/device changes.

This sometimes happens naturally: when/if you contact a developer to ask sweetly if VoiceOver might be included in the next upgrade, sometimes, you become the beta tester for that upgrade. It's a good idea to have something available for developers in general, too