Inaccessible Apps on the Site

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Hi, I really think it would make a lot more sense to either put inaccessible apps into a separate section, or tag them as inaccessible and display that near the name of the app. I often find that I end up reading through an entire apps page, thinking that it's a pretty cool app only to find that it's inaccessible. I thought the point of this site was to be a place to easily find Accessible apps? I do understand that we should notify developers of inaccessibility of apps but it would definitely be nice to know in advance, before reading an app's page, that it isn't accessible in the first place. If it were me, I would put such apps in a separate category or not list them on the site at all. It's just counterproductive for those who want to find accessible apps for their iDevice.



Submitted by DougS on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Since we've seen inaccessible apps listed on the site, my view of Apple Vis has evolved to my one stop place that reads easy with my screen reader and tells me both the good and bad of the IOS world. I would not support removing inaccessible apps from the site. I would however, really like not having to read a whole story about an app only to learn I can't really use it. The good people at AppleVis are actually one step ahead of us winers though. Now that we know Inaccessible apps are a possibility, maybe before we get all psyched out about seeing what the app does, a little forethought would go a long way. One could possibly consider navigating the page by heading. It is laid out in such a way that all of the sections in an app review are separated by heading so I have gotten into the habit of hitting the headings first and if accessibility shows as good, I read further. If not, I move on.

Submitted by Jose Lomeli on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I have to agree with you Mike! This is very annoying to have to go through apps and to find out that some of them are not accessible! People I do agree with him on this post 100% I thought that the point of this website was to find out about accessible apps? Not inaccessible apps; I hope people can reconsider this!

Submitted by Tristan on Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hi just a quick thought to add to above item. I think that making the apps listing similar to the way that latest additions are presented on the site would be helpful. Another words just below the app name there is a usabillity rating

Submitted by AppleVis on Thursday, March 17, 2011

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hi all,

As I see it, there are a number of good reasons to include inaccessible apps in the App Directory.

The first is that accessibility can be very subjective. Some people are willing to tolerate issues that others would not. Some times this is due to an app having features not available elsewhere, or it could be that there simply isn't a more accessible alternative.

As an example, I recently purchased a Twitter app called TweetAgora. I already have Echofon and TweetList, both of which are more accessible, but TweetAgora has some features that I particularly like. I work around the issues that TweetAgora has, and hope that the developers are good to their word and improve accessibility. So, right now, could I say that TweetAgora is fully accessible? No, but neither is it inaccessible.

The accessibility of an app can also change during its development cycles. There are many examples of accessibility of apps changing as updates come along (either for the better or worse). Once an app has been posted to the App Directory, I would encourage people to post replies to the original entry to report on any changes to its accessibility. It would make things quite 'messy' if an app had to be removed from the App Directory because issues introduced in an update made it inaccessible, only to find that these were fixed in the very next update.

There is also growing evidence that developers take notice of negative comments posted on this site. Just yesterday an inaccessible app was added to the App Directory (QI Lite). Within a few hours somebody had mentioned this to the developer on Twitter, who responded that they had already seen the listing and would look into addressing the issues. Isn't this exactly what we would be hoping for? I certainly call that a result.

Another reason for including inaccessible apps is that it can save people time and money. Nobody is going to assume that an app is inaccessible simply because it isn't listed in the AppleVis App Directory. However, we can help steer them away from apps that are definitely inaccessible. This has to be seen as a positive, when the only other option is to pay your money and hope.

As for reading app entries only to find that the app is inaccessible, the home page, the main App Directory page, and App Directory category pages all show the Usability Rating below the app's name. Yes, this isn't perfect. The Usability rating was only added to the submission form a couple of months ago, so most of the apps submitted prior to that do not have a rating. I had hoped that people who had submitted information in the past would update their entries to include a rating, but so far few have done so. Clearly this is something that is only going to improve, as everybody who now submits an app to the App Directory is required to give it a usability rating.

As always, I am certainly open to suggestions on how the site might be improved. However, having said that, I do find the reasons given above for including inaccessible apps to be quite compelling.



Submitted by DougS on Thursday, March 17, 2011

In reply to by Jose Lomeli

As I said in a prior post, The listing of inaccessible apps is not a bad thing. Well, not my exact words but that was the intent anyway. Speaking of intent, it is my best guess that inaccessible apps showed up here at all was for quite a good reason. Getting a refund on an app is quite a process so telling us about something that may not be so accessible might just help us avoid buying a crap app when it comes to accessibility. Also, lets say you're looking at the top 25 apps from within the app store and one gets your attention. How handy would it be to know something about the apps accessibility or lack thereof? The latter is just as important to me as the former. See my prior post to learn how I deal with getting info on an app from this site. In closing, when, and only when, I come up with a better idea, I'll launch my own site and let everyone know when it's up. IN the mean time, Apple Vis does one fine job!

Hi David and all, David, I agree 100% with what you are saying. I see this site as a resource that tells us about the accessibility, and inaccessibility in some cases, of IOS apps. So, I Keep up the good work.see no problem with having inaccessible apps listed. William

I am not sure the original post was necessarily referring to removing the inaccessible apps but better indicating prior to opening the detail page whether or not an app was accessible. I am new here, having had an iPhone and now an iPad 2 and posting several entries myself and I was not aware that the accessibility rating did not show because older posts did not require it. Most of the apps I was interested initially were apparently older reviews and thus did not require this information. I think having the accessible rating with the title is perfect and they should not be seperated. I want to be able to see what companies are not making the effort and what companies are. I think it is just the misunderstanding that some might not realize the accessibility rating is there for some things. Some people might also be navigating via headings and skip that info altogether. I am finding this sight extremely helpful and I am happy to contribute as much as I can. I tend to be the type to easily blow $5 - $10 on apps and I am happy to share my experiences/ frustrations.

Submitted by Aaron Linson on Monday, April 18, 2011

Hey guys, just wanted to let everybody know please before submitting your app post. Please please please make sure that the app is accessible before you post. The reason for this is because some people have been putting apps that are parcially accessible or not accessible at all. I'm going to be mean here and say I don't understand why applevis doesn't take these posts down but whatever. Again please go over the whole app and make sure it is accessible. Oh, and one more thing don't talk for the developers tell them your problems with the app let them fix it and then post it.
Aaron L

Twitter: blindpodcaster
podcast site:
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I sincerely hope that folks do not honor this outlandish request.
The reason why it is important to alert folks using this site of the accessibility or lack thereof of various apps, is so that you and others like you, don't whine and carry on about how you purchased a $10 app in the app store that wasn't accessible and din't work with VO. It saddens me to see how folks totally miss the point of advocacy and accessibility. Part of that, is overall education; of users and developers alike. Something, which you apparently don't get; or you wouldn't have made such an inane and pointless post in the forum.

Frankly, it's a blatent misuse of this site to omit the apps that aren't fully accessible. I personally would prefer not to waste my money if someone else has already installed it and found it to not work well. Maybe your cash grows on trees, but mine, and I'm sure others here as well, does not.
Does it make the site a tad cluttered? Maybe a bit, but it's not beyond manageable.
I strongly encourage everyone to follow suit and continue to post their accessible and not-so-accessible apps to the site so that hopefully we can (for the most part,) prevent people from wasting money and/or time on apps that do not work. it's called growing the site: and good job so far! :-)

There are apps I have avoided because AppleVis is here and I was able to tell if the app was accessible or not. I don't even search for stuff in the app store--I come here first and browse through an app category, say, productivity, until I find an app that I think might do the job, load it's page, and jump down by heading until I get to the "Accessibility Comments" heading if it's an older posting of an app, that hasn't been updated, or the "usability" heading if it is a newer app posting, and a usability rating has been provided. You guys, this isn't really hard, and taking less-accessible app postings off the site would be extremely counter-productive. Isn't the whole point of the AppleVis website to provide a place where blind/low-vision people can post on the accessibility of apps? If you take out all apps that aren't "accessible," (and let me point out that what someone calls accessible isn't necessarily what someone else would deem accessible), a person might get an app that isn't accessible--and even though the refund process is there, it's still inconvenient. Why buy an app that isn't as accessible as you'd like it when you have AppleVis, an awesome resource at your disposal?

Submitted by allseed on Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ok Folk; I've read all the posts and here are a couple of thoughts freshly baked by me. 1> why not post every app in the app store and let folk know if they are accessible. Now, that would be a service, wow! 2> If you want to reach out to developers, by all means, do so but it's really embarrassing to a developer especially one who meant no harm with their app to find that it's been posted to place where people count on finding apps that are accessible and labeled as inaccessible. Once I fine that an app is inaccessible, unless otherwise notified, I don't return to it. As to what is accessible being subjective, AppleVis has left room for objective comments but also asks specific questions of the reviewer and it is easy to understand what the difference is between the answers in those sections.

Submitted by Ken Ewing on Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I am all for posting inaccessible, somewhat accessible, mostly accessible, and fully accessible apps. I like to see what apps other people have tested and read their findings. It saves me time, frustration, and money. However, from reading some of the comments and posts I’ve noticed that some people for whatever reason would prefer to only see apps that are fully accessible. Could there be a way to add a link that will filter/hide inaccessible apps? For example, in the App Directory there is a filter to show All, Free, or Paid apps; could a second filter be added to show All, Accessible, or Inaccessible apps? The added feature may satisfy those who are in a hurry.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Thinking through everyone's suggestions only lead me to think of a compromise is in order. First I must hand it to David in making this site a reality. This is the best site of this kind anywhere on the web. So to have this available to us is is a God's blessing. Now I can see both side of the arguments. However, I have to lean towards that having inaccessible apps is critical and should be here on the site. I know personally I've purchased apps that was so disappointed and upset that nothing works. Money wasted. So in having those kinds of apps here is important so we don't have others fall in this trap. We don't want everyone to waste money and fall for this if we didn't have that posted here. Now on the other side. Those I could see just hate reading something that sounds great just to be disappointed that it is inaccessible after wasting their time reading the review. I must commend David for improving things as we learn we need to change to make it more flexible for our taste. The main page does in fact shows if it is inaccessible or not. That improvement was great! On top of that making that part of the review required in making that post is also a huge improvement. So I am guessing people are using the Search or drilling down the Category List that is here on the site. I must agree having a Search filter would fix that problem very easily. I'm not sure how you would resolved that issue in the Category List. I don't like the idea of having an inaccessable category at all. On the same note it drives me nuts that people may have posted something of bieng inaccessible at first and now the upgrade has fixed this issue but only to find the original post is still label it as inaccessible. So a possible Moderator is in order to perhaps fix a number of problems. A moderator would make sure that all apps has been reviewed and that the information is correct. Perhaps even updating those old posts that didn't have the ratings. So this would make sure those drilling down in the Category list get the correct information and it will show the information just like on the Main Page of the product name and their accessiblity ratings. That would I think be a great compromise and solve everyone's issues. What is your thoughts? P.S. I believe a Moderator in each Category would be easier than having a few to handle all of the posts. Just an idea.