Accessibility of Slack?

iOS and iPadOS

Hi! I heard of this messaging app called Slack and I want to try it out. Does anyone know how accessible the app is?



Submitted by kevinchao89 on Saturday, April 2, 2016

The native-mobile apps are the most accessible, where the desktop/web apps are non-starters with screen readers. A few items to note for the iOS app with VoiceOver:

  • inverse/backwards scrolling/swipe: three-finger swipe-up will scroll down and swipe-right will go to previous message;
  • Not possible to activate links in message--must copy entire message > paste into browser address bar > edit everything out that is non-URL;
  • Missing traits/hints (e.g. starring message, buttons in settings, etc.)

Otherwise, if you're willing to workaround the above issues: it's workable/doable with iOS VoiceOver

Submitted by Michael Babcock, Your Own Pay on Friday, September 23, 2016

if you switch your VO keys to using both control option, and or the caps lock key, then use the caps lock key for your VO keys when in this app you can be more successful.
I have also found doing a find for the letters "esc" will jump you to the bottom of the slack channel to read from the end going backwards.
These are the two main findings i've had with this app.
but yes as previously suggested, the mobile apps for slack are substantially better to use when using voiceover.

Submitted by Scruffy Ted on Friday, April 13, 2018

It sounds like I may need to use Slack soon for work, so I was wondering how it rates on accessibility now? Has there been any improvements or regressions since the previous comments posted here? Thanks

Thanks for asking!

Our entire focus for the near future is on improving and in some cases rebuilding the screen reader experience. I will post below some highlights of the improvements we made specifically to the message list but I'd love to know if something doesn't work as expected or feels unnatural.

Here are the highlights for the last month or so. There may be more improvements if you haven't used Slack in a while or at all.

1. A better ARIA landmarks system. The landmarks now match the main UI sections which you can navigate with F6 (in the app) or Cmd / Control + F6 (in the browser) or Ctrl + `.
2. Improved overall labelling and headings structure. In particular for landmarks, messages, and UI elements.
3. Improved virtual navigation for reading messages. The message list is a landmark and is marked-up as a list element, each message is a listitem and can be navigated with the i key.
4. Improved focus navigation for reading messages. Messages can be read by simply pressing the UP / DOWN keys (make sure you're not in virtual navigation mode). Pressing TAB will allow you to interact with the content of the focused message. Pro tip: to move focus to the most recent message press END to scroll the list down then press UP to move focus to the last message.
5. The name tagging autocomplete is now enhanced with ARIA and fully functional with a screen reader.
6. Message content, states (e.g. stars, pins, etc.), and actions (e.g. reply, react) are fully accessible with a screen reader.

Submitted by Rich B on Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Here is Slack's documentation on how to use it w/ screen readers. As alluded to above, I've found that using the control-option combo for the VO key does not work in Slack - it always gets sent to the text input (caps lock seems to work though). But VO navigation via F6, tabs and up/down arrow, as described in the article, works pretty well.

Submitted by Igna Triay on Wednesday, March 6, 2019

on ios its been a great experience... haven't tried on computer though