Date of Award

December 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Roger O. Smith

Committee Members

Jay Kapellusch, Kris Barnekow


Accessibility, Application, iOS


Background: Mobile technologies have infiltrated every part of daily life, including the school system. While these technologies are highly customizable, there are 6.4 million children with disabilities who may not be able to utilize these devices because of their lack of accessibility. The iOS Application Accessibility Checklist (iA2C) is a “first of its kind” tool, used to determine if an iOS app is accessible for users with a variety of disabilities.

Hypothesis: When using the iA2C, novice users with little experience in accessible design will determine apps to have a statistically similar number of accessibility features as experts, assessing the app in the same way. Additionally, users will better be able to rank apps, based on accessibility, when using the iA2C.

Method: Fifteen participants assessed a total of six apps. They evaluated three apps with the use of the iA2C and three without. Apps were matched across groups as educational, classroom support or entertainment apps. The assessments addressed both the positive and negative features of the app. Novice ratings were then compared to a “gold standard” rating created from a collaborative evaluation of three experts. Experts assessed the apps in the same way as the novices. Groups were statistically compared using 1-sample t-tests.

Results: When the participants assessed the apps without the iA2C, there was a significant difference between novices and experts for all assessments. However, when apps were assessed using the iA2C, no significant differences was observed between expert and novice ratings for the number of positive features present in the entertainment app and the accessibility features absent in educational and classroom support apps.

Discussion: Results of this small preliminary study suggests that novice participants may be more likely to assess an app similar an expert, when using the iA2C. The tool needs to undergo continued modifications to meet the changing technology and user demands. Additionally, future testing needs to be conducted regarding the measure in order to increase the power of the findings.