Smartphone Accessibility for Users with Visual Disabilities

Faculty Mentor

Hyung Nam Kim, PhD in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University


Industrial and Systems Engineering

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-2021


This research study focused on the lack of accessibility of the smartphone user guide (or user manuals) for people with visual disabilities (visual impairments and blindness). Conventional user guide was less user-friendly and inaccessible to people with visual disabilities because it was mainly designed for sighted users. We utilized the existing user guide for iOS and Android-based smartphones to develop a new user guide that is more accessible and user-friendly to people with visual disabilities by incorporating audio and video tutorials, screenshot images, and descriptive notes in accessible formats. When converting the information of the original guide into our new guide, we referred to the mental models of people with visual disabilities and a set of usability & accessibility guidelines and standards. We focused on change of terminology, using language that was more colloquial, and included descriptions of how user interfaces (e.g., icons and images) look for users with visual disabilities including low vision. We argue that our newly developed user guide can make it easier for people with visual disabilities to understand and learn how to use various accessibility features on the smartphone. Acknowledgements: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1831969.

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