A skill can reach many users who might have temporary, permanent, and situational disabilities. Make sure that 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 users with different needs.
Visual impairment includes disabilities such as blindness, low vision, and color blindness. It can also include temporary and situational disabilities. For example, users 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 users might use screen-readers, so you need to create descriptions that are verbose to 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 users' 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. For example, users who are in noisy environments, such as when they are using Alexa devices in public areas.
Make sure to create visual analogs to all 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 user who can’t speak at all. A user might not know how to respond or not be able to respond by voice alone.
If a user 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 details, seee Reprompts.
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. For example, users who are distracted, such as when they are driving a car or doing multiple tasks at the same time.
Make sure that all your users understand your skill experience and visual aids. Don't use different terms for the same action or function. For more details, see Be Available to learn how to create Simple options and Well defined tasks.
Some customers need more than the eight-second window provided to complete tasks. If a user has little time to complete a task, your design should allow them to bypass or take an alternative route to complete the task. For more detials, see Design for response time limits.
Mobility impairment includes disabilities such as limited dexterity and strength, and difficulty performing complex gestures. It can also include temporary and situational disabilities. For example, users who can’t interact with the device by touch, such as when they have dirty hands or are physically doing other tasks while using Alexa.
Make sure that all Alexa actions rely on voice-first user input. Avoid creating an action that relies on users interacting with a screen alone. Many users have Alexa-enabled devices that don’t have a screen. However, you can send customers to the Alexa app if you must communicate personal information that you don’t want Alexa to read aloud.