Great Reasons for Accessibility Specialists to Have a Mac!

Here are some great reasons that you as an accessibility specialist, tester, developer, etc. should have a Mac for Accessibility Testing. You can provide these to your boss if they’re being cheap and think a shitty PC is “good enough”. Remember there are always plenty of other jobs out there that will let you use the computer operating system that you like and you’re most efficient on 🙂

  • OS X is required to do on-device iPhone/iPad HTML/DOM code inspection using the web inspector in Safari for OS X. This does NOT work with Safari for Windows!
  • With the mobile web inspector you can modify an ARIA property on the fly through the mobile safari browser and test the results with VoiceOver instantly.
  • OS X is required to install Xcode the Native iOS Integrated Development Environment (IDE). This comes with the iOS Simulator which also has an Accessibility Inspector that allows limited a11y testing.
  • Xcode also comes with the Accessibility Inspector an app separate from the iOS Simulator’s Inspector.
  • You can’t built native iOS apps to test accessibility remediation techniques unless you have Xcode for OS X.
  • You can’t test VoiceOver & Safari accessibility behind a VPN if you don’t have a Mac that has VPN access.
  • VoiceOver for OS X has a visual speech output caption panel that shows the text VO is speaking and makes for great screenshots to show developers the accessibility problem because they can see what VO is speaking.
  • Native Android accessibility testing/development can also be done on a Mac with Android Studio and Android Lint.
  • VoiceOver is a free screen reader with free updates and no licensing costs unlike JAWS.
  • Apple’s iWork Suite of Office Apps (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) are now mostly accessible with VoiceOver for OS X and iOS and they are FREE when buying  Mac or iOS device.
  • MS Office is NOT accessible, however, it is available for OS X and I do personally use MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint since I’m not reliant on VoiceOver and have used Office my whole life.
  • You can still create accessible PDF and Office Documents using MS Office and Adobe Acrobat on a Mac.

Please add more reasons in the Comments! 🙂

One Reply to “Great Reasons for Accessibility Specialists to Have a Mac!”

  1. Being my own boss, I do not really need these hints to keep using my Mac at work, but I’m really pleased for your pointer on these tools to extend my a11y tests on mobile devices!

    Thank you Paul!

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