Building Accessible Applications in Unqork


Roughly one-fifth of the world's population lives with disabilities. And statistics show that this percentage continues to increase over time. But, disabilities aren’t only physical ones that hinder one’s mobility. Many types of disabilities make it difficult for end-users End-users, also known as Express Users, are the individuals accessing an application through Express View. In most cases, end-users are the customers using the product. to use your application.

Types of disabilities that affect how an end-user interacts with your application include:


Deafness or serious difficulty hearing.


Disorders affecting the brain, spinal column, and nerves. This type includes dyslexia—a common disability that affects how end-users interact with applications.


Vision loss or decreased ability to see. This disability includes end-users who have difficulty perceiving specific color palettes.


Difficulty creating or forming the speech sounds needed to communicate. This disability makes it difficult for end-users to use voice-activated applications.

It's understandable why the above disabilities can affect the end-user's experience with your application. But accessibility goes even further than that. Consider the limitations of your application when end-users:

  • Don’t have access to a mouse or prefer to interact with a keyboard.

  • Have changing abilities due to aging.

  • Live in rural areas with limited resources.

When designing and developing an application, it must be accessible to all end-users. People with and without disabilities must be able to perceive, understand, navigate, interact, and contribute to your application.

The Web Accessibility Initiative

People with disabilities often need nonstandard browsers and devices with limited resources, like mobile devices. So, your application must be accessible to provide equal access and opportunity to people with diverse abilities. For example, let’s consider that you have a visually impaired end-user. Most likely, that person uses screen reader software to read the text on a webpage. They also might use the browser zoom to read the content. The screen reader software needs to read the tag associated with the opened tab, the application’s text, any dynamic fields that require input, and all image tags. And your application needs to quickly render when zoomed in and scaled to 200% (at minimum). Every feature of your application must be accessible to your visually-impaired end-users.

According to the United Nations' CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities), access to information and communications technologies is a human right. In 1994, a global community of experts developed internet accessibility standards. The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) is the international standards organization working to make the internet inclusive Inclusive or inclusivity has a broad definition that includes or covers all parties, services, and facilities involved in any way of life..

TIP  To learn more about the W3C, visit their website here:

In 1997, the W3C created the WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) to improve internet accessibility for people with disabilities. In 1999, the WAI created the first version of the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). These guidelines help designers improve the accessibility of web content, websites, and applications on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.

TIP  To learn more about WCAG guidelines, visit the W3C website here:

The most recent WCAG contains 12 guidelines, broken up into four principles, to improve digital accessibility. Together, these four principles make the acronym POUR. Below are the descriptions and key attributes of each principle:


Provide text alternatives that the end-user might need. Examples include large print, braille, symbols, spoken content, or straightforward language.

Provide alternatives for anything embedded in an application that moves and creates sound. Time-based media also includes content synchronized with another site element and content that changes without end-user input.

Present content in different ways without losing information or structure. A more straightforward layout might be the simplest way to be adaptable.

Make it easier for end-users to see and hear your content. For instance, separating the application's foreground from its background to make it more distinguishable.


Ensure content is readable and understandable.

Ensure web pages open, display, and operate in predictable ways.

Use input assistance to help end-users avoid and correct mistakes when asked to input information.


Make all your functionality keyboard accessible without the use of a mouse.

Ensure your end-users have enough time to read and use the application's content.

Avoid designing content that might cause seizures or physical reactions. This includes content that flickers, flashes, or blinks. Also, avoid animations and visual patterns, such as stripes.

Ensure your application is navigable, so end-users can locate content and know where they are in your application.

Provide input modalities for your end-users, including mouse, keyboard, speech, and touch input.


Ensure your application is compatible with current and future assistive technologies.

Designers can work with accessibility resources or a WCAG checklist to meet accessibility requirements. The level of compliance depends on how closely applications meet these guidelines.

Compliance Level Description

Level A

Satisfies only the Level A success criteria. This is the lowest level of accessibility.

Level AA

Satisfies all Level A and Level AA success criteria, and all the most common accessibility issues are addressed.

Level AAA

Satisfies all Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA success criteria. The highest standard of accessibility.

Now that you understand the importance of digital accessibility, learn how you can incorporate it into your Unqork builds.

Testing Your Builds

The key to configuring accessible application is to test as you build. Efficient testing helps you avoid recreating functionality. There are many helpful tools and resources online to ensure you add accessible features to your builds.

The first resource is a WCAG checklist. The most up-to-date version is available on various websites as a fillable PDF or quick reference guide. The checklist provides information like:

  • Updates and additions added to the newest version of the WCAG.

  • A breakdown of the types of accessibility needed to meet compliance levels.

  • A dynamic checklist to help you track your progress.

Most checklists also include suggested tools to help you improve the inclusiveness of your builds. Most of the better tools are free extensions from the Chrome Web Store here:

Accessibility Tool Description

Accessibility Multitool

The WAVE is an all-in-one tool from WebAIM. This tool displays errors associated with small text sizes, incorrect heading cascades, and missing alternate text or aria (accessible rich internet applications) attributes for screen readers. It also has a simple color contrast analyzer.

Color Contrast

The free Colour Contrast Analyser tool is more robust than the WAVE's simple analyzer. This tool lets you enter background and foreground CSS color formats manually or use the color picker tool. The tool provides you with detailed information about the colors and contrast ratio. If your color contrast fails per the WCAG, the tool gives you an explanation. Lastly, the tool comes with a built-in color-blind simulator to help you select appropriate colors for your application.

Screen Reader

There are a lot of screen readers on the market. Some are free, while others require a one-time or subscription fee. The most popular free screen readers are NVDA for Windows, VoiceOver for MAC OS/iOS devices, and Talkback for Android devices. Google also has a Screen Reader extension. Use this extension to read checkbox, drop-down, and radio button options. Also, use it to read each letter or symbol end-users enter into a field.

Content Scaling

Low-vision end-users need to use the browser's zoom feature to help them identify and read smaller content. Applications must allow for content scaling up to 200% without loss of functionality.

Mobile Accessibility

There are a couple of tools specifically for mobile applications. The Accessibility Scanner checks for accessibility in Android apps, while the Accessibility Inspector checks accessibility in iOS apps.

Accessibility in Unqork

Unqork continuously makes improvements to the platform to help you build faster and smarter. But Unqork also performs regular audits to improve inclusivity for your end-users. Unqork's audits involve using the previously mentioned tools and Express View tests. This is all part of Unqork's desire to exceed Level AA compliance per the WCAG 2.2 guide. This compliance helps Unqork meet the requirements set by the commissions and departments that enforce accessibility laws like the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act). As Unqork improves inclusiveness, you can take advantage of it in your configurations.

At the very least, end-users need to navigate your application with a keyboard and screen reader. End-users typically use the Tab key to navigate a webpage. And the screen reader must identify all fields, drop-down options, and image alternate and aria text. This section explores the different components that help make your applications more inclusive.

Primary Fields Components

Primary Fields components are great for creating forms to add text and use drop-downs dynamically. The Primary Fields components do not require special configurations to add accessibility to your build. After setting up the following components, keyboard and screen reader functions work as intended:

Multi-Select Dropdown component

Number component

Single Checkbox component

Text Area component

Text Field component

Many other Primary Field components meet the exact requirements with minor configurations. If you set the Express View Preview As drop-down to unqork-v2, the following components become accessible:

IMPORTANT  This Express View style is a best practice for making your applications more accessible.

Checkboxes component

Date Input component

Dropdown component

Radio Buttons component

Secondary Fields Components

As with the Primary Fields components, Secondary Fields components must also be accessible. This group of components is primarily visual and dynamic, so they need to work for end-users using keyboards and screen readers. After setting up the following components, keyboards and screen readers function as expected:

Address Search component

Button component

Email component

Intl Phone Number component

Phone Number component

Protected Field component

The Signature component is a good example of a component that is not help to end-users using a keyboard. However, there are ways to provide the same functionality without the use of a Signature component:

  • Configure a Text Field component instead of a Signature component. End-users can enter their full name as a signature instead of using a mouse, touchpad, or touchscreen.

  • You can replace the need for a signature with a checkbox confirming the end-user has read and understands the specifications of your application.

Display & Layout Components

This set of components adds organization and structure to your applications. If you use panels, columns, grids, or tables, keyboard navigation must be available to your end-user. The following components have keyboard and screen reader accessibility:

Advanced DataGrid component

Columns component

Data Grid component

Field Group component

Matrix component

Navigation component

Panel component

Rich Text Editor component

Table component

ViewGrid component

Charts & Graphs Components

You can also find accessibility in Unqork's Charts & Graphs components. Your screen reader reads the chart content and options as you tab through them on your keyboard. The following Charts & Graphs components can help your KPIs and maps be more accessible:

Chart component

KPI component

Map component

Map V2 component