Accessible application development – Low-Code applications are accessible to everyone

In Germany, elevators and ramps at train stations and in shopping centers are now normal, but what about barrier-free access to information technology? Theoretically, this is also possible, since employers have been obliged to design their websites and software so that they can be used by people with different disabilities since May 2002. This is based on the “Act on Equal Opportunities for People with Disabilities ” and specifically paragraph 12, called “Accessible Information Technology”. This also raised the question of accessible software development for the first time.

However, the law does not contain any technical requirements, just the goal of ensuring unimpaired access to IT. In Germany, the employment rate of people with severe disabilities has remained constant, between 4.6 and 4.7 percent[1] , since 2011 and can therefore still be expanded. In any case, accessibility should be a top priority to ensure easy access to web applications for people with limited sensory and motor skills.


Our tips for accessible application development

A substantial part of the responsibility for achieving accessibility lies with the application developer. Graphic control elements, such as buttons and links, should be created with enough space and a meaningful description, such as the destination of a link. The use of graphics should be avoided in these situations, as they cannot be optimally evaluated by screen readers. However, if informative graphics are used, an alternative text must be available. Non-informative graphics may not have any alternative text, including but not limited to spacers.

The use of color is also an important issue. Sufficient degrees of contrast should be ensured when color is used. If images are used, the graphics should not be transparent. It is also helpful for the user if text and groups are visually separated from one another. If, for example, a text is divided into smaller sections with separate headings, this ensures increased information absorption and better understanding.

Generally speaking, structuring is a very important point in terms of accessibility. The same access routes to the content of the page should be created, for example, preferably a menu with the next sub-items, jump labels, and search functions. This promotes uniform navigation in the application. In addition, the content displayed should be adjusted so that no scroll bars are created.

A good test to see if an application is well structured is to turn off the CSS. This allows you to check whether the content is well structured, even without a stylesheet. Using your own screen reader or controlling the application without a mouse can also provide information on how good the application’s accessibility features are.


Is SCOPELAND accessible?

The SCOPELAND Low-Code platform supports application developers by ensuring that maintaining the necessary properties for accessible design is convenient. For example, alternative texts can be maintained in a uniform manner throughout. With HTML, where this information usually has to be stored in different places depending on the element type and where it can lead to a certain level of complexity, the application developer does not need to specify it: SCOPELAND automatically saves this information in the background. This means that the hurdle to providing this information is significantly lower than for websites that are manually programmed.

Vision impairments

SCOPELAND web applications are prepared for use with screen readers. It is software that reproduces the content of an application, both text and windows, menus, and selection boxes with audio. A screen reader is only operated with the keyboard and the user can jump from area to area using special key combinations. SCOPELAND does not use HTML elements or constructs that are difficult for screen readers to process.

Manual impairments

Our web applications can be controlled and operated using the keyboard without a mouse. We ensure adherence to a sensible activation sequence of user interface elements via keyboard control. SCOPELAND provides suitable tools for checking and manipulating this sequence and, as far as possible, defines useful defaults.

Cognitive impairments

The need for web applications to be accessible to people with cognitive impairments depends on the target audience of the application. Public web applications, such as government websites targeting the general population, have special requirements. In these cases, for example, care must be taken to avoid unnecessarily complex sentence constructions and foreign words. All possible interactions on the website must be explained clearly enough or be easy to carry out. As a user, you often have the option to switch to ‘simple language.’ These are all tasks that have to be carried out by the application developer.

To check whether an application is accessible, there is what’s known as the Federal Ordinance on Accessible Information Technology (BITV 2). This makes it clear that accessible application development is a complex and important topic. This is not a big problem, however, with a Low-Code platform.



SQPI Squirrel

Scopeland Technology GmbH

 +49 30 209 670 - 131