A skill can reach many customers who might have temporary, permanent, and situational disabilities. Make sure your skill is accessible to anyone who wants to use it.
The following sections describe different disability categories and best practices you can follow to reduce friction in your skill for those with different needs.
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Visual impairment includes disabilities such as blindness, low vision, and color blindness. It can also include temporary and situational disabilities. For example, people who might have their attention elsewhere, such as when they are reading, driving, or watching another device while using Alexa.
To make your design accessible, your color and text must be at 4.5:1 contrast. Some people might use screen-readers, so you need to create descriptions that describe every aspect of the image. Also, provide an appropriate hierarchy of information from most to least important. For more details, see Color and Typography.
Avoid creating screens or screen elements that flicker, flash, or blink. However, if you have a reason to draw someone's attention in this manner, make sure to set the flash frequency at no more than three flashes per second. Doing so should help prevent triggering photosensitive seizures in users.
Note: You can safely use flashing-text insertion carets because they are too small to trigger seizures.
Hearing impairment includes disabilities such as slight hearing loss, being hard of hearing (HoH), and deafness. It can also include temporary and situational disabilities, such as a customer using a communal device in a noisy public area.
Make sure to create visual analogs to actions and options described by your skill. Use Buttons, Lists, and Speech Synchronization to help customers who might not be able to hear Alexa well or at all.
Speech issues include such things as a non-native speaker who has accented speech to a customer who can’t speak at all. They might not know how to respond or not be able to respond by voice alone.
If a customer doesn't respond by voice, make sure you provide a visual action they can take. Instead of ending the session, consider asking the previous prompt in a different way. For more inofrmation, see Handle errors gracefully.
Cognitive impairment includes disabilities, such as learning disabilities, and difficulty understanding complex instruction or time-dependent actions. It can also include temporary and situational disabilities, such as driving a car or doing multiple tasks at the same time.
Make it easy for customers to understand your skill experience. Follow the Design Principles, especially Be Brief, to help customers understand their options at any given time.
Some customers need more than the eight-second window provided to take their next action. Learn more about how to handle this, and more about designing for a natural interaction, in Natural Speech.
Mobility impairment includes disabilities such as limited dexterity and strength, and difficulty performing complex gestures. It can also include temporary and situational disabilities, such as customers who can’t touch their device, such as when they have dirty hands.
Make sure all Alexa actions rely on voice-first input.