Checklist for Mobile Applications

Mobile applications at the University of Michigan must meet the following requirements to be considered accessible.

Area Requirement


  • Color contrast must comply with WCAG 2.1 AA level requirements:
    • Text less than 18 point or 14 point bold: contrast ratio of 4.5:1
    • Text at least 18 point or 14 point bold: contrast ratio of 3:1
    • Control elements and images of text: contrast ratio of 3:1
  • Information conveyed via color must be available by other means too.


  • 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 (such as button, link, or checkbox) assigned to them.
  • Focus should be handled in a logical order and consistent manner.

Text Equivalents

  • A text equivalent must be provided for every non-strictly presentational non-text element within the app.
  • Use alt and title where appropriate (see Steve Faulkner's post about Using the HTML title attribute for a good guide.)
  • If the above attributes are not applicable, use appropriate ARIA properties such as aria-label, aria-labelledby, or aria-describedby.
  • Images of text must be avoided.

Form controls

  • All form controls must have labels (<label> elements) for the benefit of screen reader users.


  • 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).


  • An app title must be provided.
  • Headings must not break hierarchical structure.
  • ARIA landmark roles (such as banner, complementary, contentinfo, main, navigation, search) should be used to describe an app or document structure.
  • Touch event handlers must only be triggered on the touched event.
  • Touch targets must be large enough for the user to interact with (see the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines for useful touch target size guidelines.)