Mobile accessibility checklist

This document provides a concise checklist of accessibility requirements for mobile app developers. It is intended to continuously evolve as more patterns arise.


  • Color contrast must comply with WCAG 2.1 AA level requirements:
    • Contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for normal text (less than 18 point or 14 point bold.)
    • Contrast ratio of 3:1 for large text (at least 18 point or 14 point bold.)
  • Information conveyed via color must be also available by other means too (underlined text for links, etc.)


  • Content hiding techniques such as zero opacity, z-index order and off-screen placement must not be used exclusively to handle visibility.
  • Everything other than the currently visible screen must be truly invisible (especially relevant for single page apps with multiple cards):
    • Use the hidden attribute or visibility or display style properties.
    • Unless absolutely unavoidable, aria-hidden attribute should not be used.


  • All activatable elements must be focusable:
    • Standard controls such as links, buttons, and form fields are focusable by default.
    • Non-standard controls must have an appropriate ARIA Role assigned to them, such as button, link, or checkbox.
  • Focus should be handled in a logical order and consistent manner.

Text equivalents

  • Text equivalent must be provided for every non-strictly presentational non-text element within the app.
  • Images of text must be avoided.
  • All user interface components with visible text (or image of text) as labels must have the same text available in the programmatic name of the component. WCAG 2.1: Label in name.
  • All form controls must have labels (<label> elements) for the benefit of screen reader users.

Handling state

  • Standard controls such as radio buttons and checkboxes are handled by the operating system. However, for other custom controls state changes must be provided via ARIA States such as aria-checked, aria-disabled, aria-selected, aria-expanded, and aria-pressed.


  • Content should not be restricted to a single orientation, such as portrait or landscape, unless essential. WCAG 2.1: Orientation
    • Examples of when an orientation is essential is a piano application or a bank check.

General guidelines

  • An app title must be provided.
  • Headings must not break hierarchical structure
    <h1>Top level heading</h1>
    <h2>Secondary heading</h2>
    <h2>Another secondary heading</h2>
    <h3>Low level heading</h3>
  • ARIA Landmark Roles should be used to describe an app or document structure, such as banner, complementary, contentinfo, main, navigation, search.
  • For touch events, ensure the following (WCAG 2.1: Pointer Cancellation):
    • The down-event should not be used to execute any part of the function;
    • Failing the above, completion of the function should be on the up-event, and a mechanism is available to abort the action before its completion or to undo the action after its completion;
    • Failing the above, the up-event should be able to undo any action that was triggered on a down event;
    • All the above may be violated if it is essential to trigger the action on the down event, usually to simulate real-world experiences or to provide real-time feedback. For example, game controls, piano keyboards, or virtual keyboards.
  • Touch targets must be large enough for the user to interact with (see the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines for useful touch target size guidelines).